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Ron DeSantis Knows Just How Unpopular His Abortion Ban Is

In the dead of night, the Florida governor signed a bill that will take away health care for millions of people in his state.

Ron DeSantis smiles while seated and holding a mic, in conversation with someone across from him.
Chris duMond/Getty Images

Ron DeSantis signed a bill banning abortion after six weeks in the dead of night, possibly because he knew just how unpopular the move was, even among his own base.

The Florida governor signed the bill late Thursday night with little fanfare. The chilling photo of the event shows him surrounded by mostly women, some of whom brought their children.

The measure prohibits abortion after six weeks, before many people even know they are pregnant. It makes exceptions for rape, incest, fetal abnormalities, or to save the life of the pregnant person. However, two doctors have to agree the abortion was “necessary,” and the patient “must provide a copy of a restraining order, police report, medical record, or other court order or documentation proving” they were the victim of rape or incest.

The law will also lower the amount of money that the state Department of Health is required to spend on pregnancy and parental support services, which include pregnancy testing, counseling, prenatal classes, adoption education, and material aid such as diapers and formula. People in Florida can currently receive such support for up to a year after the child is born. The new law removes that element, and will allow state funds to go to anti-abortion “clinics.” Abortion rights advocates regularly point out that states with some of the toughest abortion laws often fail to set up social welfare systems to support children after they are born.

The measure also removes the clause that specifically states abortion regulations “may not impose an unconstitutional burden on a woman’s freedom to decide whether to terminate her pregnancy,” specifically stripping away people’s autonomy.

For comparison, when DeSantis signed the 15-week abortion ban into law, exactly a year ago, he hosted a huge, highly publicized event to mark the occasion.

DeSantis, who is currently on a book tour, is widely expected to announce he’s running for president. The photo of him signing the bill could haunt him for the entirety of his campaign. Republicans have long targeted abortion, but since Roe v. Wade was overturned, they have tried to stay away from the issue. Last year, when Senator Lindsey Graham introduced a federal 15-week abortion ban just before the midterms, many of his colleagues slammed the move. The bill never made it to the Senate floor.

DeSantis’s public support for a six-week ban is also more extreme than several other Republican 2024 hopefuls. Nikki Haley has changed how she speaks about abortion, adopting a waffle-y stance designed not to alienate anyone. She maintains she is “pro-life” but doesn’t “judge anyone who is pro-choice.” Tim Scott struggled to form a coherent sentence about abortion rights on Thursday but ultimately said he supports a federal ban on abortion after 20 weeks and would consider a ban at 15 weeks.

DeSantis’s move could even hurt him at home. The vast majority of Floridians, 64 percent, think abortion should be legal in all or most cases, according to a study released in February by the Public Religion Research Institute. And as shown by a recent landslide Democratic victory in Wisconsin, abortion wins elections.

For now, Florida still allows abortion up to 15 weeks, which has made it a major hub for people traveling out of their home state for the procedure. That law is currently being challenged in the state Supreme Court. The six-week ban will only take effect if the conservative-controlled court upholds the current law. If the new law goes into effect, it will have a significant negative effect across the rest of the South. Many of Florida’s neighbors imposed harsher restrictions on the procedure since Roe was overturned.

But regardless of how it plays out in the courts, DeSantis has publicly endorsed a very unpopular position. Every time an abortion-related issue has been on the ballot, the people vote in favor of protecting reproductive rights, not taking them away. Signing the six-week ban into law will haunt DeSantis for the rest of his political career.

Michigan Now Requires Universal Background Checks for Guns After Deadly MSU Shooting

A Democratic trifecta in Michigan is delivering on its promises to voters.

Bill Pugliano/Getty Images
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer

On Thursday, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed monumental gun violence prevention bills into law. The bills require anyone buying a gun in Michigan to face a background check and requires gun owners to safely store all guns and ammo away from anyone under the age of 18. The enactment of the bills reflects a Democratic trifecta that is showing the nation what it means to honor the will of the people.

“All of these initiatives are supported by a majority of Michiganders,” Whitmer said. “I’ve gotten letters from all across our state asking for us to get this done.”

The safe storage law charts entirely new territory, while the background check law expands what had previously just covered the sale of pistols. Now, no matter what firearm an individual is purchasing, they will be subject to a background check.

The policies, which will go into effect next year, are part of a broader 11-bill package pushed by lawmakers and residents in the aftermath of a shooter killing three students and injuring five others at Michigan State University in February.

Michigan Democrats had already planned to act on gun violence with their newfound trifecta, but the tragedy only heightened the urgency. The two gun laws, as well as others that Michigan is still in the process of passing, had in fact been put together last year, after a shooting at Oxford High School left four students dead and seven others injured. The difference between then and now? Republicans controlled the state House and Senate last year. But now Democrats are in full control and acting in accordance with the voters who gave them that control.

“I’m not asking for your pity. I’m asking for your change,” Oxford High School senior Reina St. Juliana, whose younger sister Hana was killed in Oxford High, said to lawmakers during a hearing on March 2.

The safe storage law garnered particular support after the Oxford High School shooting. The shooter, 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley, had killed four students and injured another seven people using a gun that his father purchased for him, and one that was not securely stored away from him.

Similarly, a red flag law could have prevented the shooting. Crumbley had exhibited signs of mental distress and potential endangerment to his family and peers. A red flag law in Michigan may be coming next, as the Senate is expected to vote on a bill as soon as next week.

Michigan’s action on preventing gun violence stands in stark contrast to Republican-led state governments across the country.

In the aftermath of the Nashville school shooting last month that left three children and three adults dead, state Republicans—led by House Speaker Cameron Sexton—exhausted more effort trying to expel three Democrats who stood in solidarity with thousands of Tennesseans protesting gun violence than they did actually addressing gun violence.

Before the shooting, Tennessee’s Republican supermajority, notorious for playing by their own rules and shutting down bills for no reason, stomped on a red flag bill that could have stopped the Nashville shooting. Governor Bill Lee also signed a bill that allowed people to openly carry handguns without permits. Also after the shooting, Tennessee Representative Tim Burchett lazily threw up his hands, saying “We’re not gonna fix” school shootings.

Finally, after Tennessee Republicans embarrassed themselves on a national stage, Governor Lee said he would support gun reform, without getting into any specifics. If he wants to take action, he can; after all, he and his fellow Republicans have helped shut down specific solutions for years. And now there’s no excuse: Expelled and then quickly reinstated Tennessee Representative Justin Jones has promised to file 15 gun safety bills that Republicans will be held accountable on.

In nearby Kentucky, a mass shooting in Louisville left five people dead and another eight injured. Less than two weeks before the tragedy, Kentucky had banned local law enforcement agencies from enforcing federal firearm laws.

And in Florida, right after the Nashville shooting, Governor Ron DeSantis quietly signed a bill allowing people to carry concealed loaded guns without any permits, training, or background checks.

All this to say, the contradictions are ever-escalating. While coverage of one mass shooting painfully seeps into the next, Republicans are openly making it easier for anyone to access weapons of killing. Meanwhile, Michigan Democrats, under the leadership of Whitmer, are showing in clear form what it means to actually respond to crisis on behalf of the people who trust you to act. Whitmer was given a trifecta for a reason—and she is doing justice to it.

Florida GOP-Controlled Legislature Passes Six-Week Abortion Ban

Florida is one of the last abortion havens in the South. Now a near-total abortion ban is headed to the governor’s desk.

John Parra/Getty Images for MoveOn
An abortion rights activist holds a sign at a protest in support of abortion access on July 13, 2022, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Florida’s House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday banning abortion after six weeks, a measure that will have massive consequences for swathes of the southern United States.

The bill passed by a vote of 70–40, mainly along party lines. It now goes to the desk of Governor Ron DeSantis, who is expected to sign it into law. The measure prohibits abortion after six weeks, before many people even know they are pregnant. It makes exceptions for rape, incest, fetal abnormalities, or to save the life of the pregnant person. However, two doctors have to agree the abortion was “necessary,” and the patient “must provide a copy of a restraining order, police report, medical record, or other court order or documentation proving” they were the victim of rape or incest.

Florida previously allowed abortion up to 15 weeks, making it a major hub for people traveling out of their home state for the procedure. If the bill becomes law, it will cut off abortion access for a majority of the southeastern states.

Several Democrats shared stories of people who had miscarried or been harmed when they were denied an abortion.

“Hearing these stories, it just really brings home how the decisions that we make have an impact,” said Hillary Cassel. “These are the exact scenarios where we are reminded that abortion is health care. That women, as a result of these obstacles being created … are going to die. Women are going to be rendered unable to be have wanted pregnancies in the future.”

House Democrats had proposed nearly 50 amendments aimed at trying to lessen the negative effects of the bill, including striking down the ban entirely, banning state funds from going to clinics run by religious organizations that try to convince people not to get an abortion, and making it easier to prove someone qualifies for an abortion. All of the amendments were voted down.

The bill will also lower the amount of money that the state Department of Health is required to spend on pregnancy and parental support services to 85 percent, down from 90 percent. These services include pregnancy testing, counseling, prenatal classes, adoption education, and material aid such as diapers and formula. Abortion rights advocates regularly point out that states with some of the toughest abortion laws often fail to set up social welfare systems to support children after they are born. People can currently receive such support for up to a year after the child is born. The bill removes that element.

The measure removes the clause that specifically states abortion regulations “may not impose an unconstitutional burden on a woman’s freedom to decide whether to terminate her pregnancy,” specifically stripping away people’s autonomy.

The debate was temporarily delayed when protesters began shouting in the gallery. The House took a 10-minute recess, during which security cleared the gallery and closed doors to spectators. Protesters gathered outside the chamber and were joined by Democratic lawmakers in chanting and singing.

If it becomes law, as it is expected to, the bill will have a significant negative effect across the rest of the South. Florida has become an abortion haven in the region, as many neighboring states have imposed harsher restrictions on the procedure since Roe v. Wade was overturned.

Earlier this month, North Carolina Representative Tricia Cotham changed affiliation to Republican from Democratic, giving the GOP a supermajority in the state, and said she was open to new abortion restrictions. State Republicans introduced a bill in March that defines life as beginning at fertilization and makes it a felony to perform an abortion. Though Cotham hasn’t commented on that specific bill, Republican leaders seem confident they have the votes to pass new anti-abortion legislation. North Carolina is currently another Southern abortion haven. If that bill becomes law, then abortion access will be nearly wiped out for the entire southeastern U.S.

Clarence Thomas Hid Real Estate Deal With Republican Billionaire Megadonor

The Supreme Court justice did not disclose the sales, according to a new report.

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Last week, ProPublica revealed that billionaire Republican megadonor Harlan Crow has been secretly showering Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas with lavish gifts like island-hopping excursions on massive yachts and on-demand private jet rides—for decades.

Now, the outlet has revealed that Thomas also covertly sold property to the billionaire, including his childhood home where Thomas’s mother continued living as Crow spent tens of thousands in renovations.

In 2014, Crow bought a single-story home and two vacant lots co-owned by Thomas, his mother, and the family of Thomas’s late brother for $133,363. It is not clear whether Crow paid fair market value, but ProPublica noted that Crow had bought a vacant lot and small house on the same block the previous year for a total of $40,000.

Regardless of whether Crow paid extra or not, Thomas did not disclose the sale of any of it. Such a failure appears in clear violation of a federal disclosure law passed after Watergate requiring the disclosure of most real estate sales exceeding $1,000 in value, according to several ethics experts who spoke with ProPublica. This is similar to Thomas’s violation of disclosure laws when it came to the lavish gifts Crow has been giving the Supreme Court justice for decades.

Neighbors told ProPublica Thomas’s mother continues living in the home now owned by Crow. Since his purchase, Crow carried out an array of renovations on the home, including repairing the roof, building a new carport, and adding a new fence and gates.

Crow told ProPublica that he had bought the house in hopes of historical preservation (similar justification, it seems, for the billionaire’s signed copy of Mein Kampf).

“My intention is to one day create a public museum at the Thomas home dedicated to telling the story of our nation’s second black Supreme Court Justice,” Crow said. “I approached the Thomas family about my desire to maintain this historic site so future generations could learn about the inspiring life of one of our greatest Americans.”

ProPublica’s reports last week indicated an appalling financial entanglement between one of the nine most powerful jurists in the country and one of the wealthiest and most politically entrenched individuals in the country. The new report of the undisclosed sale of property shows just how far their entanglements ran.

Florida is Underwater. Where’s Ron DeSantis?

Hint: He is not in Florida.

Chris duMond/Getty Images

Parts of Florida are experiencing the heaviest rainfall in history, and Governor Ron DeSantis is on the scene to help his constituents.

Not really. He’s on a book tour in Ohio.

Fort Lauderdale, in southern Florida, had the rainiest day in its history Wednesday, sparking a flash flood emergency in Broward County, where the city is located. The region got more than a foot of rainfall, but Fort Lauderdale alone got about 26 inches of rain in a 24-hour period. A meteorologist for the National Weather Service described the rainfall as a “1-in-1,000 year event, or greater.”

During a press conference on Thursday, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis was asked if DeSantis had been in touch with him about the flooding.

“Governor DeSantis has not yet called,” Trantalis said. “I’m not sure what’s going on, but I’m sure he’s very interested in what’s going on here, and we’re happy to work with his office.”

Trantalis said that state agencies were in contact to help with rescue and repair after the flooding.

DeSantis, however, is in Ohio. He is the keynote speaker at the Butler County Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Day Dinner Thursday evening, where guests who purchased tables will receive a copy of his new book about how Florida policies can serve as a blueprint for the rest of America.

The Florida governor is expected to announce that he’s running for president in 2024. DeSantis has been stepping up his appearances out of state, and he reportedly has called members of his state’s congressional delegation to ask them to stop endorsing Donald Trump.

The Weird Online Profile of the National Guardsman Arrested for Allegedly Leaking Intelligence Docs

Here’s what we know about the suspected leaker.

The Pentagon

Federal investigators on Thursday arrested an air national guardsman suspected of leaking classified intelligence documents about the war in Ukraine.

The man, a 21-year-old named Jack Teixeira, is a member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard’s intelligence wing. He is believed to have shared the documents on a Discord server in early March.

The documents were confirmed to be real, although some were doctored before being posted online. They include information on Russian and Ukrainian strategies and issues in the ongoing war, as well as intelligence on Canada, China, Israel, South Korea, the Indo-Pacific military theater, and the Middle East.

Teixeira shared the documents to a group he led. The other members, about 20-30 of them in total, were mostly young men and teenagers who had bonded during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic over their shared interest in guns, racist memes, and video games.

Four members of the group spoke to The New York Times and insisted that Teixeira, whom they didn’t name, wasn’t a whistleblower. He shared the documents to inform his friends. The leak only gained attention when other members of the group posted some of the documents to a public forum.

The leak is unusual in that it is not as broad in scope as previous ones, such as WikiLeaks or the one orchestrated by Edward Snowden. But the information in the documents is much more timely, which has concerned White House and defense officials.

Some of the documents are less than two months old, and they contain previously unknown details about the state of Ukraine’s army as it tries to fend off the Russian invasion. The documents also revealed new information about how the U.S. gathers intelligence on adversaries and allies alike.

It’s unclear how Teixeira was able to access such highly classified intelligence. A U.S. official, speaking anonymously to The Washington Post, explained that National Guard units sometimes perform support services for active-duty units, including intelligence support for the Joint Staff. If Teixeira performed such support service, he could have been able to get ahold of the documents.

This post has been updated.

Arkansas’s New Law to Save Kids From Social Media Doesn’t Apply to Most Social Media

The law technically makes it illegal for minors to use social media without parental consent, but there are a few big exceptions.

Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Arizona Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders

Sarah Huckabee Sanders just made it illegal for anyone in Arkansas under the age of 18 to use social media without consent from their parents. Except, it seems a lot of apps, like TikTok and Snapchat, are exempt.

The Arkansas governor signed the so-called Social Media Safety Act on Wednesday, amid her larger push to “save the children,” marked, for instance, by her bill making child labor easier.

“A social media company shall not permit an Arkansas user who is a minor to be an account holder on the social media company’s social media platform unless the minor has the express consent of a parent or legal guardian,” the bill reads.

Under the bill, which takes effect in September,  all users of a social media app must verify their age by submitting a “digitized” form of identification, like a driver’s license, to the company. If they are proven to be a minor, the company must confirm that the minor has a guardian’s consent.

If the company in question fails to perform proper age verification processes, they would be liable to a $2,500 fee per violation, plus any court costs or attorney’s fees and damages brought by the user and their family if they chose to pursue legal action.

It’s tough talk for a bill that doesn’t actually hold many companies to account, or seek to meaningfully improve young people’s relationship with the online world. Because while it’s difficult to imagine how exactly the bill would be enforced, what’s more difficult is to understand which companies will even be impacted.

The bill has numerous carve outs. Companies that offer “subscription content in which users follow or subscribe unilaterally” or “interacting gaming, virtual gaming, or an online service” (like Twitch or OnlyFans) are excluded. Companies that allow “a user to generate short video clips of dancing, voice overs, or other acts of entertainment” (like TikTok) are excluded. Companies that consist mainly of direct exchanges of messages, photos, or videos (like Snapchat) are exempted. And companies that offer services for K-12 schools or career development services to individuals (like LinkedIn) are excluded.

Moreover, the bill excludes companies that have generated less than $100 million, which would include any number of smaller websites, including far-right platforms like Parler and Truth Social.

Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter appear to be the most prominent websites seemingly not touched by the various exclusions. How exactly the state will work with these companies on an individual basis to set an identity verification process in motion is unclear.

There should be a concerted effort and intentional conversation surrounding the online world and our engagement with it—especially among young people. But Arkansas’s bill is mainly concerned with dictating what websites people under 18 can use without parental consent; there is little attempt to better people’s relationships with the internet more broadly.

In this way, the bill is almost a perfect embodiment of conservative governance: purporting to “empower” personal choice of children and families by instead limiting civil liberties—and then offering no material support to help either with, or after, that “personal choice.”

Trump’s Record of Failure and Lawbreaking Fails to Deter GOP Endorsements

Here is a list of every member of Congress and every governor who has endorsed the twice-impeached, criminally indicted former president.

Donald Trump
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Donald Trump has been impeached twice. He has lost the popular vote twice. He has been found liable for sexual abuse and defamation. He is the first former president to be criminally indicted, and the first to be federally indicted. He is under at least two other criminal investigations.

And beyond every out-of-touch, offensive, or even blatantly wrong thing Trump has said, the former president’s legacy is also connected to many of the crises of our time. With disastrous train derailments coming one after another, we are reminded that Trump deregulated the railroad industry and defanged environmental protection agencies. Amid the crash of institutions like Silicon Valley Bank, we are reminded that Trump’s own rollback of Obama-era Dodd-Frank regulations helped widen the doors to such a collapse. And amid attacks on basic civil rights, we are reminded that Trump helped ratchet up such viciousness.

Nevertheless, despite all of this—the social disharmony, the material suffering, even just the fact that this all hurts Republicans electorally—scores of Republicans are already endorsing Trump’s third consecutive bid for the White House anyways. In basic terms, these Republicans are signing off on, and even encouraging, more of the above.

On Tuesday July 11, all six Michigan House Republicans came out to endorse Trump—members from a state Trump lost by nearly three points, and one that just re-elected a Democratic governor against a Trumpian candidate by nearly eleven points.

The six Michigan Republicans bring Trump’s endorsement count to 76.

Here is a list of every member of Congress or governor who has endorsed Trump’s 2024 bid for president:


  • Henry McMaster (SC)


  • Marsha Blackburn (TN)
  • Ted Budd (NC)
  • Steve Daines (MT)
  • Lindsey Graham (SC)
  • Bill Hagerty (TN)
  • Cindy Hyde-Smith (MS)
  • Markwayne Mullin (OK)
  • Eric Schmitt (MO)
  • Tommy Tuberville (AL)
  • J.D. Vance (OH)


  • Brian Babin (TX-36)
  • Jim Banks (IN-3)
  • Jack Bergman (MI-1)
  • Andy Biggs (AZ-5)
  • Mike Bost (IL-12)
  • Lauren Boebert (CO-3)
  • Josh Brecheen (OK-2)
  • Vern Buchanan (FL-16)
  • Michael Burgess (TX-26)
  • Mike Carey (OH-15)
  • John Carter (TX-31)
  • Andrew Clyde (GA-9)
  • Eli Crane (AZ-2)
  • Mike Collins (GA-10)
  • Byron Donalds (FL-19)
  • Pat Fallon (TX-4)
  • Chuck Fleischmann (TN-3)
  • Russell Fry (SC-7)
  • Matt Gaetz (FL-1)
  • Lance Gooden (TX-5)
  • Paul Gosar (AZ-9)
  • Tony Gonzales (TX-23)
  • Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA-14)
  • Harriet Hageman (WY)
  • Diana Harshbarger (TN-1)
  • Clay Higgins (LA-3)
  • Richard Hudson (NC-9)
  • Bill Huizenga (MI-4)
  • Wesley Hunt (TX-38)
  • Ronny Jackson (TX-13)
  • John James (MI-10)
  • Carlos Giménez (FL-28)
  • Jim Jordan (OH-4)
  • John Joyce (PA-13)
  • Mike Kelly (PA-16)
  • Anna Paulina Luna (FL-13)
  • Brian Mast (FL-21)
  • Lisa McClain (MI-9)
  • Dan Meuser (PA-9)
  • Mary Miller (IL-15)
  • Max Miller (OH-7)
  • Cory Mills (FL-7)
  • John Moolenaar (MI-2)
  • Alex Mooney (WV-2)
  • Barry Moore (AL-2)
  • Troy Nehls (TX-22)
  • Andy Ogles (TN-5)
  • Scott Perry (PA-10)
  • Guy Reschenthaler (PA-14)
  • John Rose (TN-6)
  • John Rutherford (FL-5)
  • George Santos (NY-3)
  • Pete Sessions (TX-17)
  • Elise Stefanik (NY-21)
  • Greg Steube (FL-17)
  • Dale Strong (AL-5)
  • William Timmons (SC-4)
  • Jeff Van Drew (NJ-2)
  • Beth Van Duyne (TX-24)
  • Tim Walberg (MI-5)
  • Michael Waltz (FL-6)
  • Randy Weber (TX-14)
  • Daniel Webster (FL-11)
  • Roger Williams (TX-25)
  • Joe Wilson (SC-2)

This story was last updated on July 11.

Trump-Appointed Judges Are Micromanaging Access to the Abortion Pill

The abortion pill is technically still available, but for now, it’s going to be much harder to get.

Chris Coduto/Getty Images/UltraViolet

Two Trump-appointed judges on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decided late Wednesday that access to the abortion pill should be sharply curtailed, dealing a major blow to abortion access nationwide.

Last week, Texas federal Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, also appointed by Donald Trump, ruled that mifepristone, one of the medications used to induce an abortion, had been improperly approved by the Food and Drug Administration and should be yanked from the U.S. market. Another judge in Washington state filed a dueling injunction the same day to keep the drug available. The Department of Justice asked the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Monday evening to stay the ruling while the case is appealed and the lawsuit plays out completely.

The Fifth Circuit only stayed the part of Kacsmaryk’s ruling, which was set to go into effect this Saturday, that referred to mifepristone’s initial FDA approval in 2000, saying the plaintiffs were too late to challenge that decision. In other words, the abortion pill is still available for now.

But two members of the three-judge panel, both appointed by Trump, upheld the rest of Kacsmaryk’s decision rolling back changes that had made mifepristone more easily accessible. The third judge, who was appointed by George W. Bush, wanted to stay the entire Texas ruling and keep the pill available without restrictions.

Under the appellate court ruling, mifepristone is now only available up to seven weeks of pregnancy, before many people even know they are pregnant, as opposed to 10 weeks. Retail pharmacies can no longer dispense the drug, and people cannot buy the pill online or via telemedicine. Instead, they will have to visit a physician. Nonphysicians are not allowed to prescribe or administer mifepristone.

The ruling also suspends FDA approval of the generic version of mifepristone, which would take a more affordable option off the market.

Medication abortions make up more than half of all abortions performed in the United States. These drugs can be ordered online and delivered via mail, making them a key resource for people who live in states that have cracked down on abortion access since Roe v. Wade was overturned last summer. The Fifth Circuit’s ruling is a huge blow to nationwide abortion access.

The appellate ruling also conflicts directly with the injunction out of Washington, which orders that mifepristone’s status and the means to acquire it must remain unchanged. The only way the FDA can comply with both rulings is by exercising enforcement discretion—a legal tool it can also use if the lawsuit ultimately is decided against mifepristone and abortion rights.

A bigger issue at play, though, is that nonelected judges who do not have medical backgrounds are making decisions about medication. As Rachel Rebouché, the dean of Temple University’s law school, previously told The New Republic, “The question for appellate courts is not just about abortion but about deference to a federal agency’s expertise.”

Kacsmaryk’s ruling “undermined” the FDA’s authority, she said. “To take seriously that it ignored risks, risks unsupported by any credible evidence, suggests questions as to what federal courts might decide about other federal agencies’ decisions.”

The Justice Department has said it will “seek relief in the Supreme Court if necessary.”

If Kacsmaryk’s complete ruling went into effect, it “would thwart FDA’s scientific judgment and severely harm women, particularly those for whom mifepristone is a medical or practical necessity,” department lawyers argued in the filing.

“This harm would be felt throughout the country, given that mifepristone has lawful uses in every State,” the filing said. “The order would undermine healthcare systems and the reliance interests of businesses and medical providers. In contrast, plaintiffs present no evidence that they will be injured at all, much less irreparably harmed, by maintaining the status quo they left unchallenged for years.”

Nebraska Republican Says Six-Week Abortion Ban Is Necessary Because White People Are Being Replaced

Fun little one-two punch of misogyny and racism

State capitol building in Lincoln, Nebraska
Education Images/Universal Images Group/Getty Images
The state Capitol building in Lincoln, Nebraska

A Nebraska Republican state senator argued Wednesday for a six-week abortion ban by claiming there are too many foreigners living in the state, invoking a racist conspiracy theory.

Since Roe v. Wade was overturned, abortion is allowed in Nebraska up to 21 weeks and six days of pregnancy. But on Wednesday, the Senate began debating a bill that would ban abortion after six weeks, before many people even know they are pregnant.

Senator Steve Erdman decided that the best argument in favor of the ban was the “great replacement theory,” which the Southern Poverty Law Center defines as a “racist conspiracy narrative [that] falsely asserts there is an active, ongoing, and covert effort to replace white populations in current white-majority countries.”

“Our state population has not grown except by those foreigners who have moved here or refugees who have been placed here,” Erdman told the chamber.

Erdman also said that all of the aborted fetuses “could be working and filling some of those positions that we have vacancies.”

Erdman’s argument delivers a nice one-two punch of racism and misogyny. First, he thinks that abortions should be banned to force more white people to have babies. But it’s actually people of color who are hardest hit by abortion restrictions. Not all states report the racial and ethnic data of people who get abortions, but those that do found a disproportionately high number of people of color seek the procedure.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that in 2020, in 29 states and Washington, D.C., 39.2 percent of people who got an abortion were Black. Hispanic people made up 21.1 percent of people who got an abortion, and other nonwhite ethnicities made up 7 percent.

What’s more, if Erdman is actually worried about increasing the labor force, he definitely shouldn’t be banning abortions. Abortion gives people better control over their own lives and allows them more opportunities to join the workforce and move upward economically. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned the Senate Banking Committee in May last year, a month before the Dobbs ruling, that “eliminating the right of women to make decisions about when and whether to have children would have very damaging effects on the economy and would set women back decades.”

Six-week abortion bans are being considered across the country, including in Florida, which just passed such a bill on Thursday by a vote of 70-40, mainly along party lines. It now goes to Governor Ron DeSantis, who is expected to sign it into law.

This post has been updated.