Dem 51
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GOP 49
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...But Blue States Are Fighting Back

Not all the legal activity concerning abortion is going on in the red states. The blue states are fighting back. A new bill introduced into the California legislature would prohibit California from extraditing doctors who mail abortion pills to other states. If it passes, the first time Mark Gordon sends a friendly text message to Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA), asking him to deliver up some California doctor who is in the habit of mailing abortion pills to Wyoming, Newsom will say: "No can do. That would violate California law. So sorry." The nominal reason for the bill is to make sure California college students studying in other states will be able to get access to the medication, but the bill does not distinguish between California residents temporarily out of state and others.

California isn't the first state to consider a bill like this. Some smaller states have already passed similar bills or are working on them, but California adds a lot of doctors to the mix and it is the only state in the West so far. The others are all in the Northeast.

The California bill goes beyond abortion pills. It also covers contraceptives and medicines used by transgendered people.

Opponents of the law say that it violates the U.S. Constitution, which says states must give "full faith and credit" to the laws of other states. But if this means California must honor Wyoming laws, doesn't it also mean that Wyoming must honor California's laws? When states have contradictory laws, it gets complicated. A while back, some states had laws allowing slavery and other states had laws prohibiting it. Sorting that out was messy.

California is not the only state working on new laws. Last week, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM) signed a law prohibiting any state or local agencies from interfering with anyone's right to receive reproductive or gender-affirming care. Earlier this year, Minnesota passed a similar law. Other blue states are working on similar laws as well. (V)

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