California Law Shields Doctors Mailing Abortion Pills Out of State

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In a groundbreaking move, Governor Gavin Newsom of California has enacted a new legislation attempting to deter other states from persecuting medical practitioners and pharmacists who mail abortion pills to patients in locations where abortion is outlawed.

As it stands, California has protective measures in place for doctors who administer abortions, shielding them from non-residential judgments. This shield extends to doctors who cater to out-of-state patients journeying to California for these services.

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Featuring greater prohibitions, the latest law halts authorities from collaborating with out-of-state probes into doctors delivering abortion pills through mail to patients in other states. Furthermore, the regulation prohibits bounty hunters or bail agents from capturing doctors and pharmacists within California’s jurisdiction and exporting them to other states to face trial for their part in providing abortions.

Mirrored by states like New York and Massachusetts, the law features unique protections. It obstructs California-based social media conglomerates, such as Facebook, from complying with external subpoenas, warrants, or other renewal requests intended to expose the identities of those seeking abortion pills.

The law establishes a refuge for healthcare providers within California’s borders, enabling them to provide vital support to those residing in states devoid of essential care, while simultaneously cloaking them from the harsh dictates of these states,” said state Sen. Nancy Skinner, a Berkeley Democrat and the legislation’s architect.

However, the shield only extends to medical personnel residing in California. Should a doctor or pharmacist venture beyond the state to provide care, they would no longer enjoy the law’s protection.

Newsom affirmed his intent to persist in the defense of women and healthcare staff who are seeking and providing essential care, in a news release marking him signing the law.

This legislation drew criticism from the California Catholic Conference, which opposed the law, contending that California is exerting ideological impact on states and citizens who oppose abortion.

In the previous year, the U.S Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 law that nationally secured women’s access to abortion. Promptly, half of the U.S states implemented laws either banning or limiting access to abortion.

Newsom signed a total of eight laws on Wednesday, all spearheaded towards guaranteeing access to abortion. This is a priority for the Democrats who control California’s Legislature, particularly after the overturning of Roe V. Wade.