opinion | Anti-abortion activists attack the dissemination of information

After the Plan B birth control method hit the market in 1999, conservatives claimed that carrying the drug, which they mistook for abortifacients, “must be left to the pharmacy.” In her view, requiring pharmacies to provide Plan B violates “the pharmacist’s right of conscience” enshrined in the First Amendment.

The protection of conscience also extends to other forms of contraception. Since the late 1980s Republican lawmakers have written legislation to protect pharmacists who would not dispense traditional birth control, claiming that a judgment of conscience supersedes a woman’s right to birth control. Today, six states Allowing Pharmacists to Refuse to Dispense Contraceptives Despite Plan B as “Thegold standard“Response to Rape.

Anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers have also been protected by concerns about freedom of expression. As states passed legislation to regulate such centers, the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates took a free speech case to the Supreme Court in 2018. and won.

Equally alarming, in the Decision 2014 in Burwell against Hobby Lobby, The court ruled that the 1993 Restoration of Religious Freedom Act allowed large, for-profit companies to refuse contraception to their female employees because of the religious objections of company owners. While the ruling applied only to the Affordable Care Act’s prevention mandate, in a bucking dissent from Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, she noted the “staggering breadth” and extremity of the opinion, which she said the court could not “pretend” was required or required by the free exercise clause of the First Amendment.

What’s different today is that the stakes have changed after Roe. More Americans than before do not have access to abortion, and access to abortion has everything to do with access to information. This is where anti-abortion groups seek an advantage.

The death of deer has made at least some anti-abortionists reflect on their proclaimed love of free speech. The National Right to Life Committee has also proposed a model law that would define “assisting or inciting” an abortion to include statements that “encourage or facilitate efforts to obtain it.” obtain an illegal abortion.” But conservative lawmakers don’t even need new legislation: Most states already have criminal statutes on aid, and prosecutors could apply them to people who provide information about abortion.

This could be moot in Mississippi, where the attorney general’s office recently sent out a subpoena (a possible prelude to criminal charges) to Mayday Health, a nonprofit health education organization that put up posters directing women to a website with information about medical abortion.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/03/opinion/abortion-first-amendment-free-speech.html opinion | Anti-abortion activists attack the dissemination of information


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