Postal Service given OK to deliver abortion drugs
The U.S. Postal Service is legally allowed to deliver prescription abortion drugs even in states that have curtailed access to abortion, the Justice Department said.
A legal opinion from the agency’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) found that mailing mifepristone or misoprostol does not violate the Comstock Act, a nearly 150-year-old law originally written to stop anything that could “corrupt” morals from being sent in the mail, if the sender does not know if the drugs will be used illegally.
Abortion pills are rapidly becoming the next major flashpoint in the abortion battle.
Federal law does not prohibit the use of mifepristone and misoprostol, and the Food and Drug Administration has found them to be safe and effective for terminating early pregnancy.
- “There are manifold ways in which recipients in every state may use these drugs, including to produce an abortion, without violating state law,” OLC chief Christopher Schroeder wrote in the opinion.
- “Therefore, the mere mailing of such drugs to a particular jurisdiction is an insufficient basis for concluding that the sender intends them to be used unlawfully.”
There has been a growing effort to circumvent the laws by mailing the drugs, often from overseas, directly to people seeking them.
Republican-led states have been moving to limit or even completely ban access to the drugs, and advocates have been concerned the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade will embolden even more states to crack down.