We’ve just created a new market for illegal drugs. It might lead to cross-liability for carrying guns.
I recently asked a scientist friend of mine how easy it would be to manufacture the two main abortifacients – the drugs used for medical abortion. While no expert, he told me that it would be pretty easy.
Contraceptives are made using two synthetic hormones, Birth control pills are made of synthetic versions of the two ovarian hormones: progesterone and estradiol. So, I presume that goes for abortion drugs. The knowledge is widespread in numerus companies globally. So, there’s plenty of supply for the intermediate drugs used in their manufacture and plenty of people who know how to do it.
That gels with my own sense. It’s something that a private individual with some knowledge of chemistry could do. How about backroom labs in China or India, the sort that manufacture fentanyl and similar drugs? This seems like a breeze.
Why would we think that demand for abortion pills is going to rise? I personally have no idea. One would think that with restrictions on abortions the demand would go down. But demand is definitely going up, see here. Demand is increasing even in States that are banning abortions. Mexican abortion activists are even sending these pills to the US because of the shortage. That’s a turnup for the books, right?
I don’t think there’s any doubt that soon imitations will appear for these drugs both due to the legal restrictions and because demand is rising. And with the imitations will come fakes. Some of these will be dangerous. But many young women will be so desperate, and they will take the risk since the alternative for them will even worse.
Some of these women will suffer medical disasters and sometimes death. Sometimes the drugs will kind of work but leave a damaged fetus and maybe a permanently damaged mother. Abortion opponents might say they deserved this. But I think its unarguable that these outcomes will occur, possibly often.
And here’s another thing. It’s not just about the abortion pills. What about the drive to ban contraceptives, also abortifacients? If this happens, we can expect unapproved and possibly fake contraceptive pills on the market. What happens then? Is it possible that we could have several States where contraceptives are banned, and young women buy contraband alternatives?
If abortion pills become illegal in some states, will we see police actually conducting stop and frisk searches on women or others who might be carrying them? Will carrying abortion pills over state borders become an offence for which they are actually jailed? How about carrying contraceptive pills? Will transporting them or carrying them become an offence too?
Just like we had Prohibition for alcohol in the 1920s (1920-1933 in fact) now we have Prohibition for abortion and, by extension, Prohibition of women’s rights. We know what happened to Prohibition, right? I give this latest stage of Prohibition 10 years of life before it is repealed. In all likelihood bans on abortion will be repealed too, but not after they have damaged the health and livelihood of millions of women.
If someone is stopped for carrying abortion or contraceptive pills, will the police be able to arrest them for other causes, say carrying books about LGBTQ subjects or with sexual content? You might think that that’s a stretch but what if they are a drug dealer? How about an otherwise law-abiding young woman who has a gun for protection (possibly against anti-abortion activists) who has just visited a pro-choice clinic?
Speaking of guns, what about carrying an illegal gun or a gun when the owner doesn’t have a required license? Could it be that carrying abortion pills or contraceptives could lead to arrests for also having guns, so that the right to carry guns legally is compromised by carrying abortion or contraceptive paraphernalia?
Could it be that possession of abortion pills is a gateway offence to carrying illegal guns? Will abortion, contraception and gun ownership become crimes that are linked and subject to cross-liability, albeit by accident?
Man bites dog, right?
There’s a lot to ponder in banning abortion pills. It might be that this could actually be a risk to people who support gun rights. That’s not necessarily something I have any sympathy for, but as they say, what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
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