The Post-Roe Battleground for Abortion Pills Will Be Your Mailbox


Historically, the legal code of a state has been supposed to stop at its borders. And for the most part, states have not prosecuted residents who leave to do something that is legal at their destination but illegal at home. “Before legalizing in most places, people would travel to Las Vegas or Atlantic City to play, without fear of their home state returning and accusing them of a crime,” says David S. Cohen, a another author of the article and an associate professor at the Thomas R. Kline School of Law at Drexel University. “There were anti-gambling moralists, but they weren’t stinging a bit to make sure people didn’t go to Las Vegas. But anti-abortion extremists are working hard to stop as many abortions as possible, and this set of uncertain jurisprudence will give them the opportunity to test the waters. “

This spring, Missouri considered, but did not approve, a measure that would have criminalized out-of-state travel for an abortion, creating a bounty-hunting incentive similar to Texas’ new anti-abortion law to do so. complete. Exercising “extraterritoriality” or attempting to enforce the laws of one state within the jurisdiction of another state would be a new frontier in restricting abortion, but in aRoe world, jurists cannot rule it out. In New York, which has been declared a safe harbor state for abortion, lawmakers have introduced a bill to protect abortion providers from being extradited to anti-abortion states for prosecution, and Connecticut has passed a law that protects against extradition and also the sentences handed down. low in other states.

Collisions between state legal codes as people cross borders, or drugs do, or the Internet, is just a conflict that can arise. Cross-border travel and interstate trade are constitutionally protected, for example, and mail delivery is a federal project. The approval of the safety and sale of pharmaceuticals nationwide is the responsibility of the FDA. GenBioPro, which manufactures mifepristone, is suing the state of Mississippi because its restrictions on drug availability are stricter than those set by the FDA.

“The federal government has control over the mail and the federal government also has control over whether a drug can be available and sold in the U.S.,” says Khiara M. Bridges, a law professor at UC Berkeley Law School. “So we expect a conflict between a state’s ability to regulate the practice of medicine and the federal government’s ability to regulate the availability of any drug in the United States.”

Reproductive law scholars observing this slow-motion accident predict that state anti-abortion lawmakers will not wait for the courts to rule on such disputes before taking action to revoke access to abortion. They hope that these states will continue to impose restrictions on the privacy of mail, the movement of goods between states, the prerogatives of other states to direct the conduct of health care, and that they will continue to do so until a decision is made. level of the judicial system tells offending states that they have overcome.



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