Health Rights Group Applauds Introduction of Comstock Repeal

Nationwide – Today, Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) is introducing legislation to repeal key provisions of the Comstock Act, a law over 150 years old that anti-democracy and anti-abortion extremists claim they can use to ban abortion nationwide if they take power in November. 

In response to this news, Jodi Jacobson, founder and executive director of Healthcare Across Borders (HCAB), issued the following statement:

“Senator Smith is leading efforts to ensure no future administration can use the Comstock Act to ban abortion or essential healthcare. We look forward to supporting this effort and to educating the public and policymakers on why repealing Comstock is so critical.

“The Trump campaign has made clear they intend to override precedent and revamp the Comstock Act to forbid use of the United States Postal Service and other common carriers to distribute medication or equipment necessary for abortion and miscarriage care. This plan is not a vague or secret scheme, but an explicit strategy conservatives are openly pursuing in their sweeping ‘Project 2025.’ Once passed, Sen. Smith’s bill would eliminate the threat posed by the right to illegitimately deploy Comstock to enact a nationwide abortion ban.

“Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, total abortion bans have gone into effect in 14 states, six-week bans in three states, and more limited bans in numerous others. These bans are creating concurrent public health crises, with rising rates of death and illness due to pregnancy-related causes, individuals denied emergency care left to bleed out in parking lots, and countless people forced to carry unintended or untenable pregnancies. 

“HCAB works with clinicians to reduce the toll of abortion bans by expanding access to medication abortion by mail to states with bans. Unprecedented and unlawful reinterpretations of the Comstock Act would result in record-shattering rates of death and illnesses due to complications of pregnancy, and deny countless people and families their fundamental rights.

“Repealing Comstock is absolutely critical to protecting reproductive rights and public health writ large. We are grateful to Senator Smith for taking this important step.” 


Healthcare Across Borders (HCAB) works to ensure everyone has full access to essential reproductive, sexual, and gender-affirming care regardless of zip code, and unencumbered by cost, discrimination, ideology, or stigma. HCAB works with clinicians, lawyers, human rights advocates, and concerned citizens to promote universal access to essential care by 1) supporting new and rapidly evolving models of care that better meet the needs of all people, including de-medicalization of care where appropriate; 2) advocating for effective harm reduction strategies wherever necessary; and 3) conducting public education on the dangers of criminalizing healthcare.

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