USPS can maintain delivering prescription abortion medicine, DOJ says

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Postal Service can proceed to ship prescription abortion medicine regardless of a June 2022 Supreme Courtroom ruling that overturned a landmark abortion rights choice, the Justice Division mentioned on Tuesday.

The division’s Workplace of Authorized Counsel mentioned in an opinion sought by USPS that the mailing of mifepristone and misoprostol, generally used to terminate pregnancies, didn’t violate an 1873 regulation often known as the Comstock Act.

USPS mentioned in a press release the opinion “confirms that the Comstock Act doesn’t require the Postal Service to alter our present follow, which has been to contemplate packages containing mifepristone and misoprostol to be mailable below federal regulation in the identical method as different pharmaceuticals.”

Bottles of Misoprostol, the second medication used in a medical abortion, lay unused in a storage bin at a Houston abortion clinic which stopped providing abortions when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, in Texas, U.S., July 7, 2022. REUTERS/
Bottles of misoprostol, the second medicine utilized in medical abortions, lie unused in a storage bin at an abortion clinic in Houston on July 7.Evelyn Hockstein / Reuters/Alamy file

Mifepristone is a prescription drug accepted by the Food and Drug Administration to induce an abortion as much as 10 weeks right into a being pregnant. It should be adopted by a second drug, misoprostol. Each medicine additionally produce other makes use of.

A Justice Division spokesman declined to touch upon the opinion.

The FDA in December 2021 completely eased some restrictions on the medicines, permitting them to be despatched by mail somewhat than limiting them to in-person meting out.

USPS mentioned it took no place on abortion coverage at both the federal or state degree and famous the Justice Division opinion “specifies that the mailing of these medicine to a specific jurisdiction that will considerably prohibit entry to an abortion just isn’t a ample foundation” for the USPS to refuse to ship them.

USPS mentioned the Justice Division concurred with its “willpower that below the doctrine of intergovernmental immunity, any state legal guidelines that will apply to the cargo of these pharmaceuticals can’t be utilized to Postal Service workers who’re complying with their duties below federal regulation.”

The Supreme Courtroom’s choice overturning the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that acknowledged ladies’s constitutional proper to abortion put a highlight on abortion by medicine, which accounts for greater than half of U.S. abortions.

A Dutch provider of abortion capsules by mail noticed demand surge within the wake of the choice, which allowed greater than 20 states to start imposing new restrictions on abortion.

Restrictions on the abortion medicine lifted in 2021 had been in place for the reason that FDA had accepted the drug in 2000. They’d been lifted briefly earlier in 2021 because of the Covid-19 pandemic, enabling ladies to seek the advice of healthcare suppliers by telemedicine and obtain the capsules by mail.