The Stop Comstock Act Doesn't Go Far Enough
Reason » Abortion
by Elizabeth Nolan Brown
13h ago
New legislation would repeal parts of the Comstock Act, a Victorian-era law that's being revived to attack abortion pills. Passed in 1873, the Comstock Act was a big deal in earlier eras, sending people to prison for publishing information about birth control, critiques of marriage, and more. The law is vague and broad, banning the mailing of any "article, matter, thing, device, or substance" that the government deems "obscene, lewd, lascivious, indecent, filthy or vile," along with anything "designed, adapted, or intended for producing abortion, or for any indecent or immoral use." Essential ..read more
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Why Some Arizona Republicans Are Defending Abortion Rights
Reason » Abortion
by Elizabeth Nolan Brown
2d ago
Though still on the books, Arizona's near-total ban on abortion was buried deep in the state's history—until recently. An April decision from the state's Supreme Court breathed new life into this long-dormant law. The ban in question—first passed by the territory of Arizona in 1864 and later codified into Arizona state law—mandated two to five years' prison time for intentionally acting "to procure the miscarriage" of a pregnant woman "unless it is necessary to save her life." This law became unenforceable in 1973 when Roe v. Wade recognized a federal right to an abor ..read more
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Biden Administration Seeks Overly Harsh Sentences for Blocking Abortion Clinic Access
Reason » Abortion
by Billy Binion
4d ago
A federal judge late last month handed down the final sentence in a string of high-profile prosecutions related to a protest at an abortion provider in Washington, D.C. That defendant, Paulette Harlow, 75, received two years in prison for helping block an entrance to a clinic in October 2020. She joins nine other defendants who received sentences from 10 to 57 months' incarceration. That the group broke the law is basically beyond debate. Whether or not the law under which they were prosecuted should be a law at all, however, is not—a question worth interrogating regardless of where you fall ..read more
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President Biden Should Pardon D.M. Bennett
Reason » Abortion
by Robert Corn-Revere
4d ago
With the stroke of his pen, President Joe Biden could take a stand against authoritarian restrictions on free speech by issuing a posthumous pardon to D.M. Bennett, the freethought publisher convicted of violating the Comstock Act in 1879. Over the past year, judges have revived the long-dead Comstock Act to justify restrictions on speech and abortion drugs. Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas even approvingly cited the moribund law in recent arguments. For these reasons, the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) has submitted a petition to the president s ..read more
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Abortion, Guns, and Hunter Biden.
Reason » Abortion
by Matt Welch, Katherine Mangu-Ward, Nick Gillespie, Peter Suderman
4d ago
In this week's The Reason Roundtable, editors Matt Welch, Katherine Mangu-Ward, Nick Gillespie, and Peter Suderman pore over recent Supreme Court decisions regarding the abortion pill mifepristone and the Trump administration's ban on gun bump stocks. 02:01—Supreme Court rulings on abortion pill and bump stocks 16:45—Secret recording of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito 27:45—Weekly Listener Question 37:11—Hunter Biden's conviction 44:30—This week's cultural recommendations Mentioned in this podcast: "Unanimous Supreme Court Rejects Abortion Pill Challenge," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown "The Ign ..read more
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The 'Bombshell' Secret Alito Recording Was Not a Bombshell
Reason » Abortion
by Billy Binion
1w ago
There's a mythic air around federal judges. Though equipped with immense power to decide issues of paramount political importance, we are in some sense expected to believe they are robots when they assume their role on the bench, devoid of basic biases and beliefs that motivate pretty much any sentient being. Justice should be impartial. That explains in part how you get news cycles like the one this week, pegged to comments made by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito that were secretly recorded by "gonzo" journalist Lauren Windsor in an exchange with him at the annual Supreme Court Historical ..read more
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Unanimous Supreme Court Rejects Abortion Pill Challenge
Reason » Abortion
by Elizabeth Nolan Brown
1w ago
It's been a whirlwind year or so for mifepristone, part of a two-drug regimen commonly prescribed to induce abortions and one whose legal status was thrown into question by an Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine (AHM) lawsuit. But a Supreme Court decision released today puts an end to the uncertainty (for now), ruling that the group did not have standing to bring the case. "The plaintiffs do not prescribe or use mifepristone. And FDA is not requiring them to do or refrain from doing anything," noted Justice Brett Kavanaugh in the Court's opinion, which was unanimous. "Rather, the plaintiffs wan ..read more
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Unanimous Supreme Court Finds No Standing to Challenge FDA Regulation of Mifepristone (UPDATED)
Reason » Abortion
by Jonathan H. Adler
1w ago
Today the Supreme Court held that anti-abortion doctors lack standing to challenge the Food and Drug Administration's regulations governing mifepristone. This was as expected. Justice Kavanaugh wrote the opinion for a unanimous Court in Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. Food & Drug Administration. Justice Thomas also wrote a separate concurrence on third-party and associational standing. As I documented in a series of posts (linked here and below) the arguments offered in support of standing by AHM and the lower courts were never particularly strong, particularly once courts concluded t ..read more
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Trump's Abortion Dilemma
Reason » Abortion
by Jacob Sullum
1w ago
When former President Donald Trump agreed to address a conference hosted by an organization that opposes abortion in all circumstances, President Joe Biden's campaign cited the appearance as evidence of Trump's extremism on the issue. But in his brief recorded remarks at the Danbury Institute's Life & Liberty Forum in Indianapolis on Monday, Trump did not explicitly mention abortion at all, although he paid lip service to the value of "innocent life." That episode reflects the dilemma Trump faces as he tries to retain the support of pro-life activists without alienating voters who reject ..read more
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Gavin Newsom Is 'Pro-Choice' on Abortion and Nothing Else
Reason » Abortion
by Christian Britschgi
1M ago
California has some of the nation's toughest restrictions on the interstate practice of medicine. With very limited exceptions, the state requires that doctors offering any sort of treatment, care, or consultation to California patients be licensed in California. While the rest of the country is changing regulations to accommodate telemedicine, California forbids out-of-state specialists from doing even remote follow-up appointments or consultations with their California patients. To lighten this regulatory load, Gov. Gavin Newsom yesterday signed into law Senate Bill 233. It will let out-of ..read more
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