You might recall that I posted earlier about my certainty conservatives would begin to target people who provide or use medications for early-stage abortions: Medication abortion – will we lose that too?
I was concerned as well that they might start to push against even informational pages like the one I keep on this site. Unfortunately, it looks like I was right, starting of course in the states where abortion has been banned. (gift link, no paywall for a while)
Conservatives complain abortion bans not enforced, want jail time for pill ‘trafficking’
Six months after their Supreme Court victory, conservatives complain that strict new laws are not being sufficiently enforced
…Nearly six months since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, triggering abortion bans in more than a dozen states, many antiabortion advocates fear that the growing availability of illegal* abortion pills has undercut their landmark victory. Now they are grasping for new ways to crack down on those breaking the law….
Antiabortion advocates had hoped the June decision would significantly decrease the number of abortions in the United States. But abortion rights activists have ramped up efforts to funnel abortion pills — a two-step regimen of mifepristone and misoprostol that is widely regarded as safe — into states with strict new bans, working with rapidly expanding international suppliers as well as U.S.-based distributors to meet demand….
Editor’s note: * Not illegal under Federal law, mind you, but under the laws of particular states.
As the article says, they are looking for the perfect case to pursue in court, in hopes they can compel the government to enforce their oppressive laws. There are some obstacles to this, since most US citizens believe in maintaining the privacy of the mail, and the First Amendment protects our right to provide information freely. But if Republicans gain further control of our federal government, they will likely try to pressure the USPS to somehow regulate the provision of abortion pills by mail. Personally I suspect this will only make women angrier.
Remember, the death of Roe was hugely important in the midterm elections just past. Some Republicans might feel cautious about pursuing the USPS for this, but I am sure they will receive a lot of pressure from their anti-choice base.
The other pressure point they are likely to hit is the Food and Drug Administration which approved abortion pills for public use, and set the terms for that use. I’m sure Republicans will not care in the slightest that changing these standards means going against medically recommended practices. These pills have never been found unsafe, and are clearly safer than pregnancy and birth. None of which matters to forced-birth advocates.
On the bright side, activists in several states are working constantly to enshrine the right to abortion in their state laws and/or state Constitutions. This will only provide a patchwork of care and that’s far from optimal. But it’s what we need to push for, while we still fight their efforts to eliminate medication abortion where they can,