Anti-abortion groups are furious that Americans aren’t yet being jailed for mailing abortion pills

Anti-abortion groups are furious that Americans aren’t yet being jailed for mailing abortion pills

Another day, another story about how anti-abortion conservatives really, really want to start throwing people in jail. The Washington Post goes to Texas for this one, though much of the actual planning and grumbling is due to the same national anti-abortion groups that are always involved in these things.

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The core of the story is that anti-abortion activists are fuming that access to abortion-inducing pills is allowing many Americans to end pregnancies even though a particular cult of theocrats insists that they no longer have the right to, so that means it’s time to start throwing the book at people.

“Everyone who is trafficking these pills should be in jail for trafficking,” quoth the ever-animated president of the Susan B. Anthony antiabortion group. If you mail banned pills to a family member in Dumptruck, Texas, who isn’t yet pregnant but wouldn’t have the money to flee the state for a desired or medically necessary abortion if did happen, it’s prison for you. That Republicans got their asses handed to them in every election contest in which abortion rights played a substantial role is irrelevant, except in that it’s making anti-abortion groups even angrier at the Republican efforts to downplay anti-abortion battles in an attempt to recover from the bruising.

Did anyone seriously think that abortion opponents would be content with any restriction on abortion that didn’t end in jail time for the people who don’t abide by their religious edicts? It’s self-evident. You can’t criminalize out-group religious beliefs and have no real penalties for the out-group. That isn’t how theocracies work. You don’t impose laws saying that God is offended by women showing their faces in public unless you’ve got a possibly-volunteer, possibly-official goon squad on hand to dish out vicious punishments to those that don’t comply, and you don’t spend your life demanding that abortion, contraception, or same-sex sexual activity be criminalized without coming up with plans for what to do with all the criminals.

The newest Texas Republican plan is to “require internet providers to block abortion pill websites in the same way they can censor child pornography,” reports the Post. But that won’t by itself keep people from being able to order the pills by getting an out-of-state proxy to do it for them, so abortion opponents are demanding that Texas find those proxy Americans, prosecute them, and jail them.

It’s still not going to solve the theocrats’ problems. The only way to prevent pregnancy-preventing pills from getting into Texas is for Gov. Greg Abbott to order the National Guard to seize U.S. mail at the borders and open each package, and that’s … probably … not going to happen.

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