Democrats Introduce Bill To Repeal Comstock Act | EUROtoday

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Democrats within the Senate and House launched a invoice to repeal an archaic legislation that might be revived to implement a nationwide abortion ban.

Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) launched the Stop Comstock Act on Thursday afternoon in hopes of repealing the 1873 legislation that criminalizes sending “obscene” supplies within the mail, together with something “intended for producing abortion.” The Comstock Act isn’t presently being enforced, however Donald Trump’s anti-abortion allies have revealed that they hope to make use of the legislation to ban abortion nationwide if the previous president is elected once more.

If enforced as anti-abortion activists need, the Comstock Act would basically ban abortion throughout the nation, together with in states that presently defend abortion entry. It would make it unlawful to ship abortion drugs within the mail ― an avenue that has helped many individuals entry reproductive care within the two years because the U.S. Supreme Court repealed Roe v. Wade. Medication abortions, or abortions utilizing drugs, account for greater than 60% of abortions within the U.S.

“The Comstock Act is a 150-year-old zombie law banning abortion that’s long been relegated to the dustbin of history,” Smith, who earlier this 12 months wrote an opinion article on her plans to repeal the legislation, mentioned in a Thursday assertion. “But extremist Republicans and Trump judges have seized upon the idea of misusing Comstock to bypass Congress and strip women nationwide of their reproductive freedoms.”

“Now that Trump has overturned Roe, a future Republican administration could try to misapply this 150-year-old Comstock law to deny American women their rights, even in states where abortion rights are protected by state law,” she added. Several Senate Democrats are co-sponsors of the invoice, together with Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Catherine Cortez Masto (Nev.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.).

Rep. Becca Balint (D-Vt.) launched the House companion invoice alongside co-sponsors Cori Bush (D-Mo.), Veronica Escobar (D-Texas), Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Pa.) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.). The invoice is endorsed by Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Reproductive Rights, amongst different teams that help abortion rights.

Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) has introduced the Stop Comstock Act, which would repeal a little-known 1873 law that criminalizes sending “obscene” materials in the mail, including anything “intended for producing abortion.”
Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) has launched the Stop Comstock Act, which might repeal a little-known 1873 legislation that criminalizes sending “obscene” supplies within the mail, together with something “intended for producing abortion.”

Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Awareness of the antiquated legislation is alarmingly low: Two in three Americans have no idea concerning the Comstock Act and its implications, in response to latest polling from Navigator Research and Global Strategy Group. Seven in 10 Americans opposed the enforcement of the legislation after studying about it.

Republicans are betting on the truth that most Americans don’t know concerning the Comstock Act in order that, if elected, Trump might quietly create a backdoor nationwide abortion ban. Jonathan Mitchell, an legal professional representing Trump in his immunity case earlier than the Supreme Court, has mentioned that Republicans don’t want a nationwide abortion ban as a result of the Comstock Act exists.

“We don’t need a federal ban when we have Comstock on the books,” Mitchell informed The New York Times in February. Mitchell can be the architect of the Texas abortion bounty hunter legislation, which banned abortion within the state over a 12 months earlier than Roe fell.

He added about Trump: “I hope he doesn’t know about the existence of Comstock, because I just don’t want him to shoot off his mouth. I think the pro-life groups should keep their mouths shut as much as possible until the election.”

“The Comstock Act has long been considered obsolete, but anti-abortion extremists are now threatening to use it to push for a national abortion ban,” Katie O’Connor, director of Federal Abortion Policy on the National Women’s Law Center, mentioned in an announcement. “This law, a relic from the 19th century, was originally passed to enforce a specific view of morality rooted in racist, sexist, homophobic, and other discriminatory beliefs. It has no place in our modern laws.”