Alabama residents could be prosecuted for taking abortion pills, the state’s attorney general says

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Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said people who use abortion pills to end a pregnancy could be prosecuted by the state, even if the pills were prescribed remotely from elsewhere in the country.

The announcement comes shortly after the federal government made it easier to prescribe the pills mifepristone and misoprostol, used for medical abortions. fight for abortion rights. Alabama Among 18 states After the decision of the Supreme Court, new restrictions on abortion were issued reverse Ro W. Wade.

Although the state’s abortion ban — which targets providers — says people who perform abortions will not face criminal charges, Marshall has proposed that the state instead prosecute under the law. since 2006.

“The Human Rights Act targets abortion providers, exempting women who ‘obtain or attempt an abortion’ from liability under the law,” Marshall told CBS News in a statement. “It does not provide a complete exemption from all criminal laws, including the Endangered Chemicals Act.”

The state’s Chemical Hazards Act criminalizes anyone who “recklessly or intentionally causes or permits a child to be exposed to, ingest, or breathe in or come into contact with a controlled substance, chemical, or drug.”

In 2013, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that a law originally enacted to protect children from exposure to illegal drugs protected unborn children.

Last week, the federal government officially easing restrictions on abortion pillsallows people to get a prescription by consulting a healthcare professional over the phone and then pick up the drugs at a physical store or mail them where permitted by law, overturning years of FDA requirements that pills be sent to a specialist. practices and clinics.

Marshall, who has previously called Alabama a “defender of unborn life,” said in a statement Wednesday that “promoting the remote prescription and administration of abortion pills puts both women and unborn children at risk.

“Elective abortion, including the abortion pill, is illegal in Alabama. Nothing in the Justice Department guidelines changes that. Anyone remotely prescribing abortion pills in Alabama does so at their own risk: I will strictly enforce Alabama law to protect unborn life,” Marshall said. said in the statement.

Mifepristone and misoprostol are used in about half of all abortions in the United States, but can also treat conditions such as ulcers. Citing other uses for the pills, the Justice Department said in a 21-page notice that the pills can be shipped anywhere in the country.

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