Brenna McCaffrey on the Politics of Abortion Pills

April 12, 2023

An alumna, who is writing a book on abortion pills and reproductive politics, talks about the current state and future of medication abortions.

Brenna McCaffrey headshot

In the run-up to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2022 that overturned Roe v. Wade, several Republican-led state legislatures passed bills that effectively banned abortions at pre-viability gestational ages, undermining the right to abortion once protected by Roe v. Wade. At the time, many abortion advocates, including CUNY Graduate Center alumna Brenna McCaffrey,Ph.D. ’22, (Anthropology), said that abortion medication pills sent via the U.S. mail constituted a viable option for women living in states that restricted abortion access.

Last week, however, U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk ruled in favor of a lawsuit brought by antiabortion groups and doctors against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which aimed to invalidate the FDA’s approval of mifepristone, one of the two drugs used in medical abortions. The Department of Justice has appealed Kacsmaryk’s decision to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

McCaffrey joins The Thought Project to discuss the prospects for medication abortions in light of present politics. She is currently writing a book on the history and cultural impact of abortion pills on global reproductive politic. See: Women on the Web to access abortion medication.


CUNY Graduate Center · Brenna McCaffrey on the Politics of Abortion Pills

For more episodes of The Thought Project podcast, visit SoundCloud
Listen to us on Apple Podcast and Spotify.

Access the transcript.