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Right to Abortion Pills Safe, But Only For Now

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Supreme Court's Decision Doesn't Foreclose Other Legal Attacks

WASHINGTON - eTradeWire -- The Supreme Court has just unanimously rejected, but only for now, a legal challenge to the FDA's actions restricting access to mifepristone pills which are widely used by pregnant women for do-it-yourself abortions at home.

But since the ruling was based solely on the plaintiffs' lack of legal standing, it may be possible for a similar challenge to be brought by other plaintiffs with stronger standing arguments, says the public interest law professor who helped establish standing for citizens impacted by decisions affecting the environment. US v SCRAP (https://www.oyez.org/cases/1972/72-535)

However, Professor John Banzhaf notes that there are other legal ways for those opposed to abortions to restrict access to abortion pills, as well as to restrict abortions even in states where such procedures haven't been banned by state law.  His earlier exhaustive legal analysis was published more than a year ago.

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How Fetal Personhood and Fetal Estate Lawsuits Threaten Abortion Rights

Here are two example of how those opposed to abortions by pill, which may not require a doctor, and are fighting back.

Recently activists sued three friends who helped a woman obtain abortion pills to end her pregnancy.  The theory of this lawsuit, filed in Texas, is that abortion constitutes murder under an abortion ban, so that a father can bring a civil wrongful death action against anyone who aided his ex-wife to cause her own abortion by taking pills.

If successful, such lawsuits could slash abortions in states where abortions are now prohibited but women avoid the ban by using pills, says Banzhaf, noting that there are several other novel lawsuits also being brought by anti-abortion activists which have largely avoided attention by pro-choice advocates. As the Washington Post reported:

"The lawsuit could signal a new phase in antiabortion strategy, with conservatives scrambling to crack down on growing abortion pill networks that have helped pregnant people access medication abortion in states where the procedure is banned. . . [Marcus] Silva's civil case could result in the women being forced to pay over $1 million in damages."

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In another example, a doctor sued by a husband, simply for prescribing abortion pills to his wife four years earlier, had her annual medical malpractice insurance rate more than doubled from $32,000 to $67,000 as a result of the filing.

Professor Banzhaf also provides information about how abortions, regardless of how they are being performed, are under attack.
How Fetal Personhood and Fetal Estate Lawsuits Threaten Abortion Rights (https://beta.lawandcrime.com/opinion/how-fetal-personhood-and-fetal-estate-lawsuits-threaten-abortion-rights/)

http://banzhaf.net/  jbanzhaf3ATgmail.com  @profbanzhaf

GW Law

Source: Public Interest Law Professor John Banzhaf
Filed Under: Legal

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