Abortion is currently banned after six weeks of pregnancy in South Carolina after the Supreme Court reversed Roe vs. Wadebut legislators want to go even further: they are considering a bill it would completely ban abortion, criminalize providers, and make the simple act of telling people, in public or in private-how to have abortion pills.
You read that right: South Carolina’s bill would criminalize the mere sharing of information about self-managed abortion. It categorically violates the First Amendment right to freedom of speechbut, if passed, legal challenges would land before the same Supreme Court who knocked down deer.
The measurement, Senate Bill 1373is based on model legislation of the National Committee for the Right to Life, the oldest and largest anti-abortion group in the country. The Legislature is holding a special summer session and the bill has yet to go to a vote, but advocates are sounding the alarm early that more states are likely to try to restrict communication about abortion when their Legislative sessions will resume next year.
Michele Goodwin, director of the Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy at the University of California at Irvine Law School, Told the Washington Post that this kind of bill will not be unique. “These will be laws that will spread like wildfire in states that have shown themselves hostile to abortion,” she said.
The bill states that “aiding and abetting” an abortion in the state — which, again, would be a felony — includes sharing information about self-directed abortion over the phone, the Internet, or “or any other mode Communication “. It also criminalizes hosting a website with information on how to get an abortion. The text reads in part:
(B) The Prohibition of Aiding and Abetting a Violation of Section 44-41-830 includes, but is not limited to, knowingly and intentionally:
(1) provide information to a pregnant woman, or a person seeking information on behalf of a pregnant woman, by telephone, Internet, or other mode of communication regarding self-administered abortions or ways to obtain an abortion , knowing that the information will be used, or is reasonably likely to be used, for an abortion;
(2) hosting or maintaining a website, providing access to a website or providing an internet service for the purpose of a pregnant woman who resides in this state and who provides information on how to obtain an abortion, knowing that this information will be used, or is reasonably likely to be used for an abortion;
The anti-abortion movement has focused on overregulating clinics and getting states to ban abortion earlier and earlier in pregnancy, while swearing up and down that it won’t would not go after women and pregnant women (although States criminalized themselves before deer tear down). Abortion pills bought online and shipped from abroad are a threat to their crusade, so it is no surprise that the movement aggressively targets self-managed abortion. But in order to (nominally) not go after pregnant women, they now use people who talk about how to get the pills, whether that person is a friend, family member, activist or even a journalist.
Abortion pills were great focus at the NRLC convention held the weekend after deer tear down. Jennifer Popik, Group Director of Federal Legislation, Told participants that “chemical abortion is the fight we will fight for the next decade, probably longer”. She added that no matter “how many of your wonderful states will now ban abortion for six weeks or almost completely…those pills will still come to your state.”
NRLC General Counsel James Bopp, who drafted the model legislation, likened the group’s efforts to fighting organized crime, as if abortion providers were some kind of mob. “The entire criminal enterprise must be addressed to effectively prevent criminal activity,” Bopp said. Told the Washington Post. The Post reporter wrote that Bopp said the aiding and abetting provision “was intended to limit the trafficking of abortion-inducing drugs, which he compared throughout the interview to the trafficking of fentanyl.”
So, yeah, we’re absolutely going to see more bills like the South Carolina one and more references to “chemical” abortion, what the antis call medical abortion to make it scary and dangerous, whereas it’s actually a protocol approved by the FDA over 20 years ago that now makes up more than half of all abortions in the United States
As Congress dabs trying to get an abortion rights bill passed, someone who could do something about it is Attorney General Merrick Garland, who said on the day deer has been canceled that the States cannot ban FDA-approved drugs. Please have the DOJ Go for itSir.