A Hiccup in Overturning Roe v. Wade: Abortion Pills
By: Chloe Wu
Last Friday, the Supreme Court officially overturned Roe v. Wade, affirming that the right to an abortion is not a constitutional right. “The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the majority. Many states have already passed laws restricting or banning abortion of all forms, including abortion pills. However, efforts by pro-abortion organizations are making it more difficult for states to ban abortion completely.
CBS News explains, “The Supreme Court ruling last week effectively splits the availability of abortion care across the nation.” States such as California and New York will probably continue to offer unlimited access to abortion care, but more conservative states such as Arizona and Texas are already cracking down on women who wish to terminate their pregnancies.
According to The New York Times, “As conservative states began passing more laws restricting access to surgical abortions, more patients opted for pills, especially because they could be taken in the privacy of one’s home.” Texas hopes to severely limit this form of abortion, as well. The state recently passed a law prohibiting health care providers and pharmacies from mailing abortion pills in Texas. Similar laws have been proposed in Alabama, Arizona, Iowa, South Dakota, Illinois, Washington, and Wyoming.
A mobile clinic program called “Abortion Delivered” plans to operate on state borders, to be able to reach patients who live in anti-abortion states.
A similar organization, “Hey Jane,” is planning to expand to more states. “We’ve ramped up our team to accommodate this significant increase in demand,” said its chief executive, Kiki Freedman.
“Just the Pill” is an organization that provides telemedicine consultations with doctors. This group mails abortion pills to patients, and it plans to deploy mobile clinics as well.
Two cabinet members of the Biden administration released statements after the high Court ruling, vowing to protect the right to take F.D.A. approved medications, including abortion pills.
“We stand unwavering in our commitment to ensure every American has access to health care and the ability to make decisions about health care — including the right to safe and legal abortion, such as medication abortion that has been approved by the F.D.A. for over 20 years,” Xavier Becerra, the secretary of Health and Human Services, said in his statement.
“We stand ready to work with other arms of the federal government that seek to use their lawful authorities to protect and preserve access to reproductive care,” Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said.
The future of abortion pills is unclear, but one thing is for sure: abortion access will never be the same; at least not until the makeup of the Supreme Court changes drastically once again—and this may not happen.