“There are many ways in which recipients in each state can access these drugs, including abortions, without violating state law,” Schroeder said. “Therefore, the mere mailing of such drugs in a particular jurisdiction is an insufficient basis for concluding that the sender intended to use them unlawfully.”

Exactly a week after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade Last June and scrapped a nearly half-century-long federal guarantee of abortion rights, the Postal Service asked the Justice Department for legal guidance on how to respond to growing efforts to block state abortion restrictions so that abortions are allowed in those states. Medicines for abortion can be sent by sending medicines. ,

The newly released opinion says those who ship abortion drugs to states with strict abortion laws would not have the degree of knowledge necessary to violate a federal law known as the Comstock Act, which provides for up to five years. Jail is a criminal sentence. Up to 10 years behind bars for the first violation and for subsequent violations.

The opinion notes that state laws limiting abortion typically include or interpret exceptions when the mother’s life is in danger. In addition, it is usually difficult for someone sending drugs to know at what stage of pregnancy they will be consumed or where someone will be when taking them, Schroeder wrote.

The Justice Department’s announcement is likely to be welcomed by abortion-rights advocates, although it is not an absolute guarantee of legal immunity for those involved in sending or receiving abortion drugs in states that ban them. The opinion does not prevent state or local prosecutors from using state laws to criminally charge people for such activities.

Furthermore, Schroeder said he was not looking into whether such conduct might violate federal laws other than the Comstock Act. However, he said his findings about that law would also apply to attempts by other carriers to ship abortion drugs, such as United Parcel Service or FedEx.

The Justice Department memo is one of two actions the Biden administration took Tuesday to increase the safety and access of abortion pills — which have recently become the most popular way to end pregnancy in the United States .

The Food and Drug Administration also updated its rules for the drug to allow brick-and-mortar pharmacies to dispense them to patients with prescriptions for the first time. However, pharmacists in more than a dozen states, which have almost complete bans on abortion, will not be able to participate.

The two-pill regimen to induce abortion has been the subject of legal, political and regulatory battles since the drugs were first approved decades ago. Those fights escalated only after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade In June of 2022, and mail delivery of the pills became one of the primary ways GOP-controlled states were able to circumvent the newly imposed restrictions.

Since then, progressive advocacy groups have pushed the Biden administration to take a variety of actions to protect and expand the process and have expressed frustration at the White House’s slow and cautious pace. Roe deer, However, the groups praised the new Justice Department memo and FDA rule, calling them “a step in the right direction,” but stressed that more is needed.

In a post-Roe deer Around the world, patients need all available options to access their care, whether in person, by mail or at a local pharmacy,” said Kirsten Moore, director of the Expanding Medication Abortion Access Project. “Millions of people still Live in states where abortion care is completely prohibited. The kind of care you get shouldn’t depend on where you live, but that’s the reality anti-abortion politicians have made.

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