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Future Abortion Law Enforcement May Focus on Pills

If the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, the legal and culture wars over abortion would increasingly shift to a new front: the use of abortion pills. Medication abortion — a two-drug combination that can be taken at home or in any location and is authorized for use in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy — has become more prevalent and now accounts for more than half of recent abortions in the U.S.. If the federal guarantee of abortion rights disappears, medication abortion would likely become an even more sought-after method for terminating a pregnancy and the focus of battles between states that ban abortion and those that continue to allow it, reports the New York Times. About half the states are expected to quickly make all methods of abortion illegal if the justices’ decision in a Mississippi case resembles a draft opinion leaked this week. Other states would likely continue to allow abortion, and several are already taking steps to accommodate patients from the states where abortion may be outlawed. “In the last year, Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Texas have enacted state-level safeguards to stop mail-order abortion drugs, and the Tennessee Legislature recently sent such protections to Gov. Bill Lee,” said Mallory Carroll of the Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion group. Residents of states that would quickly ban all abortion methods if Roe were overturned — including Texas, Missouri, Utah and Tennessee — would be legally prohibited from having telemedicine abortion consultations from any location in their state, even if the doctor were located in a state with legal abortion.

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