Late-night MBTA blues: What to know about this week's nighttime Blue Line closure

An MBTA Blue Line train at the Orient Heights Station. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
An MBTA Blue Line train at the Orient Heights Station. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

Editor's Note: This is an excerpt from WBUR's daily morning newsletter, WBUR Today. If you like what you read and want it in your inbox, sign up here

We’re starting the week on a rather chilly note, but it’s only getting warmer, with forecasted highs in the 70s and 80s (!) through the end of the week. Before you start pulling out those summer clothes from storage, let’s get to the news:

Massachusetts officials are emphasizing that medication abortions remain legal and accessible in the state, after two contradictory federal court rulings this past Friday threw the national legality of one of the two main pills often used for the procedure into national jeopardy.

  • What happened Friday: A conservative Texas judge ordered the FDA to revoke its approval of the abortion pill mifepristone by this Friday. But hours later, a judge in Washington ruled in a separate case, blocking the FDA from pulling mifepristone off the market — at least in the 17 states that brought that case to court.
  • What to know about mifepristone: As WBUR’s Martha Bebinger shared in our CommonHealth newsletter, 49% of abortions reported in Massachusetts occur using a two-drug regimen: mifepristone and misoprostol. Taken together, the two pills end a pregnancy without the need for surgery in 99% of cases. Medication abortions can also be done using misoprostol alone, with a 93% effectiveness rate.
  • Go deeper: Here’s how medication abortion works.
  • The local impact: Massachusetts was not involved in the Washington lawsuit. But even if the Texas ruling stands, medication abortions will still be available in the Bay State. Bebinger reports that local providers like Planned Parenthood will switch to the slightly less effective misoprostol-only abortions if mifepristone is pulled off the market.
  • What’s next: Don’t count out mifepristone quite yet. Gov. Maura Healey is promising to announce a plan today at 1 p.m. that her office says will protect access to mifepristone in Massachusetts. And at the federal level, the Biden administration is appealing the Texas decision. (Some Democrats also say the FDA could use its discretion to effectively ignore the ruling.)

Late-night MBTA blues: The entire Blue Line is shutting down early each night today through Thursday for track work. Free shuttle buses will replace subway service from around 8:45 p.m. through the end of service each night between Government Center and Wonderland.

A stretch of Broadway in Cambridge remains closed this morning after a massive fire broke out yesterday at Faith Lutheran Church, only hours after Easter service. Fortunately, no one was hurt — but officials are still investigating the cause of the six-alarm blaze.

Mel King will be remembered by family and friends this week in the South End neighborhood that he long called home. A public viewing hours will be held today for the late Boston civil rights leader from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Union United Methodist Church — followed by a funeral service Tuesday at noon at the Columbus Avenue church.

P.S.— We’re one week from the Boston Marathon, so this is the last week to catch “The Finish Line” in the windows of CitySpace at 890 Commonwealth Ave. Read the story behind the photo display here.


Headshot of Nik DeCosta-Klipa

Nik DeCosta-Klipa Newsletter Editor
Nik DeCosta-Klipa is the newsletter editor for WBUR.



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