The Usual Suspects Are Trying To Suppress Abortion In States Where It’s Legal*
They’ll Use The Same Ploy To Deter Gender-Affirming Care
In Dobbs, the Supreme Court redefined substantive due process and liberty not to include a woman’s right to choose, purporting to leave access to such reproductive healthcare to the individual states. See ‘Liberty’ May Not Mean What You Think It Means.
For 19 Republican attorneys general, Dobbs does not go far enough. Despite overwhelming public opposition, many seek a nationwide ban on abortion through one of three means: a congressional ban signed into law by a GOP president after a Republican senate majority leader suspends the filibuster for that specific purpose; a Supreme Court declaration that embryonic cells are constitutionally protected from the moment of conception; or, if neither of these works, a constitutional amendment.
In the interim, they will do what they can to disrupt reproductive healthcare in states where abortion is legal. Defying principles of federalism to which they give lip service, these attorneys general want to preserve the ability to suppress such reproductive healthcare across their borders into states where such care is legal. They want that same overreach into gender-affirming healthcare.
The means of doing so, among others, is through the chilling effect their ability to seize certain out-of-state medical records — reproductive healthcare information (“RHI”) — in “criminal,” administrative, or licencing probes would have on (1) patients who consider obtaining such reproductive or gender-affirming care in states where it is perfectly legal, and (2) the providers who offer such care. Republican state AGs are seeking out-of-state medical records.
In addition, certain states want access to out-of-state RHI to maintain the threat of enforceing draconian laws within their own states. Examples include Texas’ vigilante law, Idaho’s law that criminalizes helping someone travel to another state for an abortion, and the Texas-inspired law in Oklahoma. See, e.g., Will SCOTUS Uphold Pelvic Exams Of Interstate Travelers?