Expect more stories like this as new restrictions on abortion clinics take hold. The Times of London:
In the flea markets along the Mexican border with Texas, traders have a new bestselling product: misoprostol, a drug that is intended to prevent stomach ulcers but can also be used to induce abortions.Boxes of the drug now change hands at more than $200 (£130). Its value has rocketed in response to the rising numbers of Texan women turning to the black market to terminate their pregnancies, after “pro-life” Republican lawmakers slashed the number of abortion clinics in the state.
Abortion is a difficult problem for which no truly good solutions exist. While liberal media outlets will do their best to hype every incident, the reality is that when women don’t have access to safe abortion clinics, other means will be found. The pro-life movement has had the advantage for some time of campaigning against abortion without society confronting the consequences of those restrictions in practice. Now, as the wave of restrictions spreads across the country, those consequences are beginning to appear. Ultimately, the country is going to have to choose between a set of very unsatisfactory alternatives.It is never an easy decision to balance the claims of morality and pragmatism in law. Our legal system deliberately limits what police and prosecutors can do even if this means that sometimes the guilty go free. That’s not because we don’t care about crime; it’s because an excessive rigor in pursuit of good order has such serious drawbacks.There are good arguments to be made for a variety of legal regimes around abortion—and all of the alternatives have drawbacks and consequences. Roe v. Wade took one approach, but after 40 years, it seems clear that most of the country wants to try something different. Increasingly the 50 states will be moving to a variety of approaches, and it appears that the Supreme Court is willing to uphold at least some of them.It won’t be the end of the abortion wars, any more than drug legalization will end America’s struggle over drug policy. Americans like to think that perfect solutions to social problems can be engineered with enough hard work and good will. In many cases, and abortion policy is one of them, that can’t be done.