A Weekly Roundup of Politics: AidAccess, India’s NRC, and Mandatory Vax

09.13.2019 Arts & Culture
Ann Lewis
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Rebecca Gomperts’ AidAccess

Rebecca Gomperts, the Austrian doctor who is responsible for women’s reproductive health organizations Women on Waves and Women on Web, filed a lawsuit this week against the FDA. Gomperts’ most recent organization AidAccess offers telemedical abortion services to pregnant people around the world who don’t have access to clinics for reasons such as distance, cost, and domestic violence. 

The FDA, at the urging of members of Congress, sent Gomperts a cease and desist letter in March of this year. The letter claimed that the organization was violating US law by writing prescriptions for the pair of drugs that terminate pregnancies and induce miscarriages (mifepristone and misoprostol, respectively) and for not having a physician present to administer the drugs to each patient. 

AidAccess consults with a pregnant person, determines if a medical abortion is right for them, and if so, orders a prescription of the medication to be delivered to their home. These prescriptions are filled and shipped to the patient by a pharmacy in India. The FDA states in its regulation of these drugs that a physician must administer them, and thus, having them shipped to people’s homes is considered illegal. AidAccess has trained physicians available on their site for their patients while they are going through the abortion process, but not in person. Gompert’s lawsuit states that the FDA is violating her patient’s constitutional rights and explains that its cease and desist letter has put an undue burden on her patients. 

As abortion access is categorically denied to women and trans men all over the country by Republican-led state legislative bodies, more and more people are turning to telemedicine for abortion access.

90% of American counties do not have an abortion clinic, and those that do often cannot keep up with the demand or are too far away for people to access. Additionally, many states require people to wait 24-48 hours after seeing a physician to get an abortion, which is yet another undue burden.

India’s Muslim Crackdown

On the other side of the globe, India released a list of “legitimate” citizens last week in the eastern region of Assam, essentially creating millions of stateless people. The region is entirely east of Bangladesh and is only connected to the Indian mainland by a narrow strip of land. The National Register of Citizens (NRC) left 1.9 million people living in the area off the list. This likely means that they will end up at one of ten immigration detention centers currently being constructed nearby. Most of the people not on the list are of Muslim heritage or from tribal areas and are without paperwork. The requirements for legitimate citizenship were steep, including birth certificates in a region not known for proper documentation, and a familial connection to or personal residence in the area before 1971. 

Scores of people are without the necessary documentation to prove their rightful place in a region whose borders were decided by the English less than 75 years ago. (At the time, Bangladesh was considered East Pakistan and was renamed in 1971.)

Some reports claim that recently there has been an influx of Bangladeshis into the Assam region because of extreme poverty. People in Assam are predominantly Hindu, while roughly a third of the area practices Islam which represents approximately 90% of the religious practices in Bangladesh. As much as this is a national registry of Indians, it appears more blatantly to be a nationwide crackdown on Muslims — something with which India has practice in recent years. 

Vaccinations Are Now Law

On Monday, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into effect bills SB276 and SB714, which will now require all school-aged children to be vaccinated despite many medically fragile children who have previously held medical exemptions. These are children whose doctors have specifically noted that they can have severe brain damage or a deadly reaction to vaccines, who will now be forced to vaccinate unless a government official steps in to override law. 

To put it in perspective, someone with no knowledge of your child will now be the deciding factor of your child’s fate.

Protestors came out to express their disgust with the laws — one of the largest outpourings of activism California legislators have ever experienced. 

In today’s wellness obsessed world, one has to wonder how we can be so selective when it comes to what we put in our bodies regarding food, birth control pills, and supplements, but then are supposed to turn a naive and lackadaisical eye to the known toxins that come in these required vaccines (we’re talking neurotoxins, carcinogens, and immunotoxins). We have to ask ourselves why these bills are being passed, and if the incentive behind forcing parents to vaccinate their kids with compromised health issues is actually coming from the money hungry heads of big pharma? 

We should be able to choose the best route for our children’s health. 

*Editor’s note: At the fullest we aren’t here to say we are for or against vaccines, we know they have been beneficial for many, but we also know they can injure our medically fragile children. We are simply asking for SAFE vaccines to be made — and for doctors and patients alike to have medical freedom from the government.

Ann Lewis is an artist, activist, and writer based in Detroit. Her artwork reflects upon social and environmental justice issues.

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