Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
California Bill to Protect Doctors Who Mail Abortion Pills
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 1 year ago on
March 17, 2023

Share

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Doctors in California who mail abortion pills to people in other states would be protected from prosecution under a new bill to be unveiled Friday in the state Legislature.

The bill would not let California extradite doctors who are facing charges in another state for providing abortion medication. It would also shield doctors from having to pay fines. And it would let California doctors sue anyone who tries to stop them from providing abortions.

The bill would only protect doctors who are in California. If a doctor left California to provide an abortion to someone in another state, that doctor would not be protected. It also would not protect patients in other states who receive the medication.

State Sen. Nancy Skinner, a Democrat from Berkeley and the author of the bill, said her intent is to make sure California residents who are traveling in other states or living there temporarily — like college students — can still have access to medication that’s legal in their home state. But she acknowledged the bill would also apply to California doctors who treat patients who live in other states.

“This is essential health care,” Skinner said. “Our health care practitioners should be protected for treating their patients regardless of where their patients are geographically.”

Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Maryland and Vermont have proposed or passed similar laws, according to Skinner’s office. Connecticut’s law, among other things, blocks criminal summonses from other states related to reproductive health care services that are legal in Connecticut while also blocking extradition — unless the person fled from a state requesting them.

“Obviously, if a provider is engaging in telehealth services with someone, even if they do inquire about where they are, they kind of have to take it on faith,” said Connecticut state Rep. Matt Blumenthal, a Democrat and co-chair of the General Assembly’s Reproductive Rights Caucus. “We don’t want to make providers their police for their patients. And we don’t want to make them have to do an investigation every time they perform telehealth.”

States Try to Block Abortion Pill Use

Other states have tried to block the distribution of the abortion pill, known as mifepristone. Attorneys general in 20 states, mostly with Republican governors, have warned some of the nation’s largest pharmacy companies they could face legal consequences if they distribute the pill within their states.

Most abortions are outlawed in Idaho, including medication abortions. Blaine Conzatti, president of the Idaho Family Policy Center — a group that opposes abortion rights — said California has a responsibility to extradite physicians who break Idaho laws.

“The arrogance of such a proposal is astounding,” Conzatti said of Skinner’s bill. “It flaunts the traditional relationship between states and would upend our federal system altogether.”

Skinner’s bill goes beyond abortions. It would also protect doctors for mailing contraceptives and transgender-related medications.

California already has laws that prevents courts from enforcing out-of-state judgments on abortion providers and volunteers. That law was aimed at protecting doctors who provide abortions to people who travel to California from other states. Abortion opponents say laws like that are illegal because they violate a clause in the U.S. Constitution that says states must give “full faith and credit” to the laws of other states.

Federal courts have recognized an exception to that clause, including laws in one state that violate the “public policy” of another state. Skinner’s law declares it is the public policy of California that doctors should not be charged for providing abortion medication.

“We’re very careful,” Skinner said.

Abortion pills have been legal in the U.S. for more than two decades and can be used up to the 10th week of pregnancy. It’s now the most common abortion method in the U.S. A federal judge in Texas is weighing whether to revoke or suspend the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the drug, a decision that would apply to all states and not just the ones who have outlawed abortions.

Skinner’s bill is one of 17 pieces of legislation Democrats have introduced in California this year to protect abortion rights, including proposals to improve access to contraceptives and protect patients’ privacy.

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

How California Legislators Got More Than $1.4 Million in Travel and Gifts in 2023

DON'T MISS

‘Digital Democracy’ Project Penetrates California’s Opaque Political Processes

DON'T MISS

US Shoots Down Iran-Launched Attack Drones as Biden Team Pledges ‘Support’ for Israel

DON'T MISS

Sacramento Gave Homeless Camp a Lease as an Experiment. Here’s What Happened.

DON'T MISS

Merced Supervisors Accused of ‘Triple Crown Race’ of Failures Amid Talk of Closing Fire Stations

DON'T MISS

Teacher Appreciation Week Surprises That Educators Will Love

DON'T MISS

A Mission of Mercy, Then a Fatal Strike: How an Aid Convoy in Gaza Became Israel’s Target

DON'T MISS

Walberg Era Begins With a Charge to ‘Revolutionize’ Bulldogs Basketball

DON'T MISS

California Man Sentenced to 40 Years to Life for Fatal Freeway Shooting of 6-Year-Old Boy

DON'T MISS

16 Clovis Students Rewarded With Scholarships for Their Resilience

UP NEXT

US Shoots Down Iran-Launched Attack Drones as Biden Team Pledges ‘Support’ for Israel

UP NEXT

Sacramento Gave Homeless Camp a Lease as an Experiment. Here’s What Happened.

UP NEXT

Merced Supervisors Accused of ‘Triple Crown Race’ of Failures Amid Talk of Closing Fire Stations

UP NEXT

Reacher Star Alan Ritchson Calls Donald Trump a ‘Rapist’

UP NEXT

US Intelligence Finding Shows China Surging Equipment Sales to Russia to Help War Effort in Ukraine

UP NEXT

Oakland Officials Vote to Include ‘San Francisco’ in Airport’s Name

UP NEXT

A Near-Total Ban on Abortion Has Supercharged the Political Dynamics of Arizona, a Key Swing State

UP NEXT

House Advances Reauthorization of US Spy Program as GOP Upheaval Threatens Final Passage

UP NEXT

Tennessee Lawmakers Send Bill to Ban First-Cousin Marriages to Governor

UP NEXT

US Measles Cases Are up in 2024. What’s Driving the Increase?

Sacramento Gave Homeless Camp a Lease as an Experiment. Here’s What Happened.

2 days ago

Merced Supervisors Accused of ‘Triple Crown Race’ of Failures Amid Talk of Closing Fire Stations

2 days ago

Teacher Appreciation Week Surprises That Educators Will Love

2 days ago

A Mission of Mercy, Then a Fatal Strike: How an Aid Convoy in Gaza Became Israel’s Target

2 days ago

Walberg Era Begins With a Charge to ‘Revolutionize’ Bulldogs Basketball

2 days ago

California Man Sentenced to 40 Years to Life for Fatal Freeway Shooting of 6-Year-Old Boy

2 days ago

16 Clovis Students Rewarded With Scholarships for Their Resilience

2 days ago

Dr. Green Thumb’s Is Open. Sweet Flower Debuts Saturday in Fresno Cannabis Rollout.

3 days ago

Reacher Star Alan Ritchson Calls Donald Trump a ‘Rapist’

3 days ago

Community Leaders Call for Transparency in Fresno Superintendent Search

3 days ago

How California Legislators Got More Than $1.4 Million in Travel and Gifts in 2023

Last June, more than half of California’s lawmakers — Republicans and Democrats alike, with no particular ideological preference — attended ...

22 hours ago

22 hours ago

How California Legislators Got More Than $1.4 Million in Travel and Gifts in 2023

22 hours ago

‘Digital Democracy’ Project Penetrates California’s Opaque Political Processes

1 day ago

US Shoots Down Iran-Launched Attack Drones as Biden Team Pledges ‘Support’ for Israel

2 days ago

Sacramento Gave Homeless Camp a Lease as an Experiment. Here’s What Happened.

2 days ago

Merced Supervisors Accused of ‘Triple Crown Race’ of Failures Amid Talk of Closing Fire Stations

2 days ago

Teacher Appreciation Week Surprises That Educators Will Love

2 days ago

A Mission of Mercy, Then a Fatal Strike: How an Aid Convoy in Gaza Became Israel’s Target

2 days ago

Walberg Era Begins With a Charge to ‘Revolutionize’ Bulldogs Basketball

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend