Readers respond: Repeal Comstock Act to preserve abortion rights

It is past time to repeal the 1873 Comstock Act. This law reflects a punishingly narrow view of bodily autonomy and self-determination, particularly for women. Anti-abortion activists are using the language of the act to challenge the mailing of abortion medication. There’s every reason to expect they won’t stop there. Over time, the courts have determined that the law forbids mailing abortion-related items only if the sender intends for them to be used “unlawfully.” It is legal to mail abortion medication. Yet so long as the law remains on the books, millions of women are at risk. We’ve already seen a Supreme Court willing to overturn decades-old precedent and seen state legislatures rush to apply decades-old laws the moment Roe v. Wade was overturned.