Four PA GOP congressmen ask US Supreme Court to ban popular abortion medication

Graphic of Congressmen Lloyd Smucker, Mike Kelly, GT Thompson and Guy Reschenthaler by Francesca Daly. (Photo: Getty Images)

By Sean Kitchen

March 4, 2024

The 1873 Comstock Act bans the mailing of abortion-related items and it’s straight from the right-wing’s Project 2025 playbook should Trump get reelected.

Four Pennsylvania Republican congressmen signed onto an amicus brief asking the US Supreme Court to use a law from 1873 to restrict access to the popular abortion pill mifepristone.

145 Republican lawmakers signed on to the brief and the four Pennsylvania congressmen include US Reps. GT Thompson, Guy Reschenthaler, Lloyd Smucker and Mike Kelly.

The amicus brief cites the 1873 Comstock Act, a zombie law, that bans mailing abortion related items.

It is the same law right-wing extremists associated with Project 2025, an extremely anti-democratic transition plan, want former President Donald Trump to enforce as a way to ban access to abortion without Congressional approval should Trump win a second term.

The Supreme Court will hear a case on March 26 where right-wing activists are trying to ban the distribution of mifepristone, the country’s most popular abortion medication.

It’s the first abortion-related case the court has taken up since overturning the constitutional right to an abortion in June 2022. he court will decide if it agrees with an appellate court’s decision to ban access to the drug through the mail and other restrictions placed on the drug.

One of the restrictions includes shortening the time someone can use the drug from 10 weeks of pregnancy to seven weeks of pregnancy.

Gov. Josh Shapiro told reproductive rights advocates at a Planned Parenthood roundtable in Harrisburg earlier this year that his administration is taking the appropriate steps should the court restrict access to the drug.

“Yesterday, we were in an important meeting … to prepare for what the Supreme Court of the United States may do on mifepristone,” Shapiro said at the time. “To know that we in the commonwealth will be ready to act immediately thereafter ensuring that women continue to have access to reproductive healthcare here in Pennsylvania.”

Author

  • Sean Kitchen

    Sean Kitchen is the Keystone’s political correspondent, based in Harrisburg. Sean is originally from Philadelphia and spent five years working as a writer and researcher for Pennsylvania Spotlight.

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