It’s not yet clear whether, after Dobbs, authorities will choose to prosecute people for involvement in networks like Cruz’s. Amy O’Donnell, a spokesperson for the Texas Alliance for Life, argues that state law already allows for the extradition on felony charges of those who bring abortion drugs into Texas from other states. However, extradition of people who reside outside the country is a federal matter and, she speculates, would likely not happen without the election of a President with anti-abortion views.
Even within Texas and other states with strong laws against abortion facilitators, the politics of enforcing penalties is complex, in part because the belief that abortion equals murder doesn’t appear to be widespread. A survey released last month found that, among Texas voters, sixty per cent favored abortion being “available in all or most cases,” while only ten per cent supported banning abortion completely. In this political context, David Donatti, a civil-rights attorney at the A.C.L.U. of Texas, says, “conservative legislators would benefit just as much from pretending no abortions are happening as they would from prosecuting abortions.”