The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people across the globe go about their daily lives. One of the changes is the way we receive medical care. Telehealth and telemedicine have increased during the pandemic. Doctors have been more willing to prescribe medication after telephone-call medical visits and allow pharmacies to deliver certain drugs by mail.
Naturally, the abortion industry has taken advantage of the changes.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a rule last summer that banned abortion drugs by mail or delivery service. Women were required to go to hospitals or clinics to receive the drugs. A federal judge last summer issued an injunction against this rule, but the Supreme Court reinstated it on Tuesday. Women who want abortion pills can no longer receive these drugs by mail while the matter is pending.
The high court’s vote was 6-3, with Chief Justice Roberts voting with conservative justices. From Reuters:
The court’s three liberal justices said they would have denied the Trump administration’s request while litigation over the dispute continues in lower courts.
U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang in Greenbelt, Maryland in July found that due to the health risks that COVID-19 poses, the in-person requirements “place a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking a medication abortion” and likely violate their constitutional rights.
In a brief opinion concurring in the decision, Chief Justice John Roberts said the dispute was not generally about the right to abortion but rather courts’ deference to government decisions related to the pandemic.
Planned Parenthood tweeted about the Supreme Court’s decision:
“Forcing patients to travel unnecessarily to a health center and risk COVID-19 exposure in order to access safe medication abortion is dangerous and serves only to create more barriers to care, especially for people of color and people with low incomes.”
Those who oppose voter ID laws make a similar argument. “People of color” apparently lack civic responsibility to go to the DMV to apply for a driver’s or non-driver’s photo ID so they can conduct everyday business, and women “of color” can’t be bothered to see a doctor before taking dangerous drugs designed to kill the life inside them.