Gov. Noem's Threat to Prosecute Pharmacists Is Showboating | Opinion

The following is a lightly edited transcript of remarks made by Rakim Brooks during a Newsweek debate about states prosecuting pharmacists over abortion pills. You can listen to the podcast here:

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem's threats to prosecute pharmacists who dispense the abortion pill seems like showboating. It reminds me of Trumps wall to prevent illegal immigration, when most illegal immigration is caused by people flying in and overstaying their visas. The same thing is going to result here. The governor might very well ban pharmacies from distributing the abortion medications, but ultimately people will acquire it by using telehealth and having it mailed to them. So, there's going to be another set of controversies to come I think, but for right now the main thing to remember is that states are interfering with a pregnant person's right to choose. That remains to be the current controversy and it's presently live at the state level. Many Republican governors are thinking about the next steps because they're running out of things to do now that they actually have the right to prevent people from having abortion. They're going to point out ever more increasingly draconian ways of preventing people from getting abortions.

‘Handmaid’s Tale’ weighs in on Roe’s Fall
Pictured above, protestor dressed as characters of "The Handmaids Tale" in front of the federal building to defend abortion rights in San Francisco on May 3. Photo by NICK OTTO/AFP via Getty Images

The reason I call it grandstanding because it's almost like when candidate Donald Trump said the quiet part out loud during his campaign, which was we intend to prosecute anyone who has an abortion. Suddenly, the pro-life movement realizes that's not the line they have taken for most of their existence, and the same thing is happening here. By targeting pharmacists, it's almost like targeting the doctors, which has been a long standing practice of the pro-life movement. But the ghoulish thing that we're getting to is that when the rubber hits the road, imagine that people do in fact order these drugs, and no in fact self-medicate to have abortions, and now you have police and constables in your home (I say constables because I'm thinking about the 3rd amendment). I think the founding fathers did not intend for the government to be into our intimate decisions in exactly this way. Suddenly you're going to have people knocking at the door saying, "we believe you received a package through the US Mail and we believe that it may contain abortion inducing drugs, have you used them?" That is the truly mortifying experience that we're about to embark upon in the United States, and I think the pro-live movement and the Republicans are not willing to admit that they may in fact go that far and produce the exact kind of The Handmaid's Tale scenarios that people are frightened by.

Rakim Brooks is president of the Alliance for Justice Action Campaign.

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.