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The next abortion frontier? State licensing of providers and pharmacists

Generally speaking, states may regulate conduct within their own boundaries, not outside of them. With the fall of Roe v. Wade, this principle will be tested, and the Dormant Commerce Clause (remember that from law school?) and other legal theories may curb the reach of aggressive states' extraterritorial prosecution. Several of my colleagues, including Rachael Pontikes and Emily Hussey, have experience litigating similar issues.

But health care providers and pharmacists may also face licensing restrictions in anti-abortion states, particularly those who are licensed in multiple states. Even if an anti-abortion state cannot prosecute a provider for providing an abortion (or pharmacist for dispensing an abortifacient medication) in another state where it is legal to do so, can the state licensing agency prevent that provider/pharmacist from maintaining their license in the anti-abortion state? My colleague John Kendzior explores this question with Axios: Fractured post-Roe landscape leaves questions about cross-border care (June 27, 2022).

For additional questions and information on this issue, and more broadly what the industry landscape may look like post-Dobbs, see Reed Smith’s Reproductive Health Working Group and Resource Center.

"Where does the regulation stop? When do we get to trust the physician to exercise their medical judgment?" John Kendzior, Reed Smith, Chicago


abortion, licensing, dobbs, healthcare, health care & life sciences