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The Louisiana House Votes to Put People in Jail for Having Abortion Pills


On Tuesday, the Louisiana State House voted to add two popular abortion drugs to the state’s list of controlled, dangerous substances, even though there is a lot of evidence that they are safe and effective.

The drugs in question, mifepristone, and misoprostol, are already not allowed to be used for abortions in Louisiana. The state has had no abortion laws since Roe v. Wade ended in 2022. But the House passed a bill on Tuesday that would make having the drugs without a valid prescription illegal and punished by up to five years in prison, even though they are used for more than just starting abortions.

The first-of-its-kind bill passed with a vote of 64 to 29 and now goes to the state’s Republican-controlled Senate. If that goes through, it will go to Gov. Jeff Landry (R), who is likely to sign it.

The drugs have been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration and are the most common way to end a pregnancy. The Guttmacher Institute found that the drugs were used in 63% of all abortions in the US in 2023, which was 10% more than in 2020.

Mifepristone, the first of the two drugs used to end a pregnancy, was approved by the FDA in 2000 and has been used more than 5 million times. Less than 0.5% of users have had “serious adverse reactions.”

Misoprostol and Mifepristone pills were added to the state’s list of banned and dangerous drugs by the Louisiana House of Representatives.
Democrats were angry about the bill’s progress on Tuesday.

A spokesman for the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, Sam Paisley, called the idea “outrageous” and said that Republicans in Louisiana already have a dangerous total abortion ban that could make it harder for people to get IVF. Now, they want to put people in jail for just having abortion pills.

People who are voting should know that a law like this in Louisiana could have an effect on laws in other red states.

“Other Republican-led states will follow if Louisiana is able to pass this dangerous bill into law,” she said.

Vice President Kamala Harris wrote on social media that the House’s approval of the plan is “absolutely unconscionable.”

Even though the drug is widely used, Sen. Thomas Pressly (R), who wrote the bill, said that there was a special reason for bringing it to the floor. At the vote on Tuesday, state Rep. Julie Emerson (R) spoke for Pressly and said that her niece “was poisoned by her former husband” when he “crushed up the abortion-inducing drug misoprostol and put it in her water with the intent to abort their unborn child.”

Emerson went on, “This bill will make sure that our laws can hold people accountable who lie to hurt women and unborn children.”

Sneaking drugs on someone is already a crime that can get you in trouble.

Mandie Landry, a Democrat and cousin of Gov. Landry, spoke out against the bill on Tuesday, saying it was silly to treat the drugs as dangerous all of a sudden.

“People have been writing these prescriptions for a very long time. In this country, they are probably written thousands of times every day.” “The politics of this have changed, but nothing else has,” she said before the vote.

She also said that the drugs are used for many other medical reasons that are not related to abortion.

The medicine is used for sores and miscarriages. It’s meant to start labor. It’s bleeding after giving birth. “Getting an IUD might help with that,” she said.

She also said that for drugs to be listed under the state’s Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Law, they must be addicting, which mifepristone and misoprostol are not.

She said, “These drugs are still addicting even though nothing has changed.” “Well, I guess you can’t be hooked on misoprostol unless you get pregnant every month.”

While the U.S. Supreme Court thinks about a case that could make it much harder to get mifepristone, Louisiana’s bill is being passed. But when the case was heard in March, most of the justices didn’t seem to think the claim had much of a case. The court’s decision could come out as early as June.

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