Edgewood considers blocking access to abortion pills by mail

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EDGEWOOD, N.M. — Edgewood leaders have a new proposal to block local providers from sending and receiving abortion pills through the mail. It’s a proposal that hinges on an outdated federal law.

Officials are hoping to double down on a strategy put forth by a federal judge in Texas earlier this month. It argues the mailing of abortion pills violates an existing federal law that has, for years, gone unenforced, which prohibits sending substances or drugs that produce abortions through the mail.

The proposed Edgewood ordinance would not allow the city to take legal action in these cases. Rather, it’s opening the door for private lawsuits, with a minimum $100,000 punishment.

The U.S. Supreme Court preserved full access to mifepristone – the most commonly-used abortion pill – last week while the Texas judge’s argument goes through the appeals process.

It appears Edgewood leaders are also waiting for that process to finish up, and to see if the proposal clears Tuesday night’s vote before they move forward.

State lawmakers just approved a bill during the session blocking local government from creating new abortion restrictions. It’s not exactly clear if Edgewood’s ordinance would violate that – considering the ordinance cites federal law. It appears the state or U.S. Supreme Court will have to make a decision on this before any potential lawsuits move forward.

UPDATE: Edgewood commissioners voted 4-1 in favor of the ordinance. The meeting ended around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday.