🤰 Enforcing A Ban
You've no doubt heard by now the US Supreme Court is positioning itself to overturn at least some (if not all) of Roe v. Wade, effectively leaving the legality of abortions up to each State to decide. Several states are awaiting the formal verdict to enact their own restrictions on abortions, but NPR asked how enforcing such bans would actually work.
“It would be very hard for states to say that they're just going to open up everybody's medical records, right?,” Kim Mutcherson, dean and professor of law at Rutgers University, told NPR. “This is actually a moment where HIPAA does apply. And one way in which HIPAA is not relevant is if the person who has your private medical information is not a health care provider.”
Mutcherson notes that many states may not want to follow the model of Texas's SB-8, which effectively deputizes citizens to enforce the abortion ban, rather, “they might want to incentivize people, you know, to turn in their neighbors and friends or whomever for going over state lines to get an abortion and then coming back home.” Of course, this does turn this issue into an interstate (and thus federal) matter, which could send the law back to the Supreme Court.
Not only is overturning Roe v. Wade widely unpopular among Americans but enforcing it without getting into interstate law is deeply complicated if not outright fruitless. In summation, this is going to be a very (a very tragic) big mess.