Oct 2023 – “The National Women’s Health Network with a focus on Mifepristone”

Zoom Meeting Registration Link 

Denise Hyater Lindenmuth, Executive Director of the National Women’s Health Network and Vice President for Women[s Health at the Clearinghouse on Women’s Issues will serve as Moderator and introduce the National Women’s Health Network (NWHN.org). NWHN was founded in 1975, as a consumer watchdog organization that changes the way the medical establishment listens to women. It has thousands of institutional and organizational members. A donation of $15 also provides a 12 mo membership and other benefits. Special topics of interest include: aging women, maternal health, sexual and reproductive health, abortion, contraception, disability, FDA advocacy, breast health, chronic conditions, LGBTQAI health, mental health and wellbeing, and the social determinants of health. NWHN also analyzes and supports bills and monitors appropriations related to women’s health. It also provides many resources in its key topic areas on its website (NWHN.org).

Kristen Batstone from NWHN will provide an update on legal and availability issues for Mifepristone. Kristen Batstone is a Policy Manager at the National Women’s Health Network, where she works on issues related to reproductive health, maternal health and the health and well-being of aging women. Kristen previously worked at the National Rural Health Association, where she managed their women’s health and maternal health legislative portfolio. Kristen was responsible for facilitating relationships with Members of Congress and their staff, as well as developing policy interventions that improved women’s health outcomes in rural areas. Kristen received her undergraduate degree in Women, Gender, Sex and Sexuality Studies from American University, and she is working towards an MPH from George Washington University. Growing up in rural Pennsylvania, Kristen witnessed first-hand the inequities women from geographically isolated areas experience when trying to access high-quality, comprehensive health care. She is passionate about modernizing our health systems, expanding and diversifying our health care workforce, and decriminalizing life-saving health care.

In the discussion of mifepristone Kristen will provide a brief history of its use and popularity for medical abortions and then discuss the current legal objections and their implications for the future of abortions in the US. In doing so she will discuss the most recent 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling’s meaning and where do we go from here? To preview she notes, “A recent court decision threatens the national availability of Mifepristone, one of two abortion pill medications used for more than half of abortions in the US. Due to a stay issued by the Supreme Court, abortion pills are still available during judicial proceedings, but a subsequent decision from the Supreme Court could have a devastating impact on abortion access. Even if the Supreme Court sides with abortion advocates and upholds recent FDA guidance that allows Mifepristone to be dispensed through the mail and retail pharmacies, Mifepristone access is not guaranteed due to efforts to codify abortion pill bans at the state and federal level. Regardless of actions taken by courts and Congress, abortion pills will still be available by mail in all 50 states, even in states that ban abortion care.”

 Please come with your questions and suggestions about NWHN and mifepristone.

Remember to register to attend this Oct 24 CWI noon zoom meeting at this Registration Link. The next CWI meeting will be Jan 16, 2024 since the 4th Tuesdays in Nov and Dec fall near holidays.