The day after the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a new law restricting chemical abortions took effect in Texas.
“Mail-order abortion drugs are now prohibited in Texas,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted. “Earlier this year, the Biden Admin. temporarily lifted restrictions on abortion-inducing drugs allowing them to be delivered by mail. We will not allow that in Texas.”
The law, known as SB 4, specifies that “a manufacturer, supplier, physician or any other person may not provide to a patient any abortion-inducing drug by courier, delivery or mail service.”
Instead, the law requires an in-person examination by a physician, a mandatory follow-up visit within 14 days and new reporting requirements for providers.
In addition, SB 4 prohibits physicians from prescribing abortion-inducing medications to women who are more than seven weeks pregnant—three weeks earlier than the previous cut-off period.
Any physician, health care practitioner or facility that defies the new law could be charged with a criminal offense and sentenced to time in jail.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, about 60% of abortions conducted before 10 weeks are chemical abortions.
Texas Right to Life legislative director John Seago said he hopes SB 4 is just the beginning of the state’s effort to rein in online and out-of-state providers.
“We see this as the future of the pro-life fight,” he said. “… even after Roe or after states are able to pass very stringent pro-life laws.”