2023 is a key year for abortion rights. But as progressives, we need to unite our struggles, instead of keeping them separate.

by Umme Hoque, The Progressive Magazine

I’m at the pharmacy to pick up methotrexate—the medicine for my newly diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis (RA)—and I’m told they never got the prescription. It’s strange: I’m picking up another medicine, too, and the prescriptions were sent at the same time. The next day, it’s sent again, and I’m told there’s a delay: the pharmacist needs to review it.

A hand holding a sign supporting abortion as healthcare during a rally for abortion justice.

RA is a lifelong inflammatory disease. It’s autoimmune; my body is attacking itself. It causes joint pain, and sometimes I can’t make a fist. Doctors say I caught it early, but if untreated, it could cause permanent damage and maybe spread to my organs. But I’m warned about other things, too—about how the meds could affect my ability to have children. I’ve done research, so I’m not confused. I’m just tired, not only because of the fatigue associated with RA, but because of how abortion is under assault at every turn.

While Democrats have committed to saving abortion (at least at the state level), the right to access safe abortion treatment isn’t the only health issue affecting people who can become pregnant.

Methotrexate is used to treat many things, like lupus and cancers. They can also treat ectopic pregnancies—which can be life-threatening without an abortion. Since Roe v. Wade was overturned, many people are having to argue with pharmacists to get needed medicine in case they’re actually using it for an abortion. There’s no clear guidance, so medical professionals respond cautiously or maybe politically; I’ll never know which it is living in the south, getting medical advice in New Mexico and Texas.

Read More