A new bill in California, SB 345, seeks to protect doctors who provide abortion medication by mail to women in states where the medication, or the procedure itself, is banned. It would also permit the distribution of controversial transgender medication, such as puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones, in states where local laws would prohibit it.
The new bill would allow people who are patients of a doctor in California to obtain abortion medication or trans medication, even if the state they are in prohibits it. Notably, the bill protects medical providers in California from punishment, but not the out-of-state patients or California doctors who leave the state to provide the care in person.
“California health care practitioners will be able to provide essential reproductive and gender-affirming care that is legal in California, regardless of their patient’s geographic location, knowing that California is doing everything it can to protect them against the draconian laws of other states,” boasted Democratic State Sen. Nancy Skinner, author of SB 345.
Skinner says SB 345 would permit doctors to “prescribe and dispense medications for abortion and contraception that are safe to patients regardless of where the patient is located,” “provide gender-affirming care and deliver that care regardless of where the patient is located,” and “bring suit in California against anyone who interferes with the health care provider’s right to provide care that is legal in California.”
Politicians in the blue state, including Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, have promoted California as an abortion destination since recent legal pro-life wins, which have coincided with a pandemic-charged population loss in the Golden State. Moreover, Newsom, in September, signed a bill making California a so-called sanctuary state for child gender surgery.
Critics say the law infringes on states’ rights.
“The arrogance of such a proposal is astounding,” said Blaine Conzatti, president of the Idaho Family Policy Center, according to Fox News. “It flaunts the traditional relationship between states and would upend our federal system altogether.”
Abortion is banned in most cases in some 13 states, and numerous other states have requirements relating to how abortion medication mifepristone is dispensed. The Biden administration first allowed mifepristone to be sent by mail and stopped enforcing a rule requiring women to get the drug in person at a clinic or hospital during COVID. The removal of the in-person requirement was made permanent in January, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it would allow pharmacies to become “certified” so they can dispense the abortion medication to people who have a prescription. Mifepristone is widely used in the U.S. making up more than half of all abortions, an estimated 54%.
Numerous states, including Tennessee and Mississippi, have outlawed controversial transgender medication and surgeries on minors.