The 150-year-old Chastity Law Could be the Next Big Fight Over Abortion
How the Comstock Act could impact Americans' lives
A law passed 150 years ago that banned the mailing of contraceptives, lewd materials and drugs that induce abortions could provide a pathway for effectively banning abortion nationwide – even in states where the procedure is legal.
When the Supreme Court last summer reversed Roe v. Wade and eliminated constitutional protections that guaranteed abortion rights nationwide, the conservative majority fashioned its ruling as returning the matter of abortion policy-making to elected officials, particularly in state legislatures.
But the battle lines now being drawn around the Reconstruction-era federal law – the Comstock Act – are an example of how the picture after Roe v. Wade is far more complicated as abortion opponents are challenging the means of abortion, such as the drug mifepristone, in court.
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