Last week, I argued that Democrats were already engaging in a ‘Soft Secession’ by breaking with federal law, declaring themselves sanctuary states, boycotting conservative states and announcing that they would provide sanctuary for those refusing to abide by their laws on abortion or transgender mutilation. I argued that conservative states ought to do likewise.
And the process is only accelerating.
The New York State Legislature gave final approval on Tuesday to legislation that provides legal protection for New York doctors to prescribe and send abortion pills to patients in states that have outlawed abortion.
The measure, along with similar new laws in several other states controlled by Democrats, could significantly expand medication abortion access by allowing more patients in states that restrict abortion to end pregnancies at home, without traveling to states where abortion is legal.
The New York bill now goes to the desk of Gov. Kathy Hochul, who has indicated that she supports the idea of such a shield law. The bill stipulates that New York courts and officials will not cooperate if a state with an abortion ban tries to prosecute, sue or otherwise penalize a New York health care provider who offers abortion via telemedicine to a patient in that state, as long as the provider complies with New York law.
Since the Supreme Court ended the nationwide right to an abortion last year, legislation known as telemedicine abortion shield laws have been enacted in Massachusetts, Colorado, Vermont and Washington. But New York’s legislation is expected to have a notable impact. Several providers in New York say they plan to send abortion pills to patients in all restrictive states, and a few providers are speaking publicly, which those in other states with shield laws have so far not done.
In the case of illegal drugs, it’s still illegal to send them through the mail even from a state where they are legal to a state where they’re illegal. This new scenario has drugs being sent to states where they are illegal.
It’s one thing to simply provide a remote consultation that may be illegal. An example of that is gay conversion therapy across state lines. New Jersey may criminalize it, but all that’s crossing state lines is a private communication. That’s not the case with drugs. States are entitled to regulate drugs entering state lines.
New York and other states have announced that they’re going to allow businesses to violate laws in other states by sending materials across state lines that are illegal in those states.
(This issue exists apart from any position on abortion pills, pro or con.)
This is the kind of thing that tears apart any national consensus or sovereignty much as it did before the Civil War. You can’t have a functioning country when states reject and undermine the federal system while waging war on each other. The Democrats are implementing their own national divorce.