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Louisiana House Criminalizes Abortion Pill Possession

Despite evidence of safety and effectiveness, the Louisiana State House voted Tuesday to classify two common abortion medications as controlled substances, HuffPost reports. The medications, mifepristone and misoprostol, are already illegal to use for abortions in Louisiana, where the procedure has been outlawed since the fall of Roe v. Wade in 2022. But the legislation the House passed Tuesday would make possession of the medications without a valid prescription punishable by up to five years in prison. The proposed law, the first of its kind nationally, passed 64-29 and now goes to the state’s Republican-controlled Senate. If it passes there, it will move on to Gov. Jeff Landry (R), who is expected to sign it.

The drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration are the most common method of terminating pregnancy. In 2023, the Guttmacher Institute found that medications accounted for 63% of all abortions in the United States. Democrat state Rep. Mandie Landry (no relation to Gov. Landry) argued against the bill Tuesday, saying the sudden need to treat the drugs as dangerous substances is absurd. She noted the drugs have numerous other medical uses that have nothing to do with abortion. “This is used for ulcers, miscarriage. It’s to induce labor. It’s for postpartum hemorrhaging. If you get an IUD, it might help with that,” she listed. Classifying drugs under the state’s Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Law also requires them to be addictive, she noted ― something mifepristone and misoprostol are certainly not. The Louisiana bill comes as the U.S. Supreme Court weighs a case that could severely scale back access to mifepristone, though a majority of justices appeared skeptical of the lawsuit’s merits when they heard the case in March.


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