Lawmakers in Louisiana move to restrict abortion pill

Texas judge temporarily lifts abortion ban for medical emergencies
Source: Pixabay

Lawmakers in the southern US state of Louisiana approved a bill Tuesday that would criminalize possession of abortion pills without a prescription, a move criticized as “unconscionable” by Vice President Kamala Harris.

The bill, which still needs to pass the state senate, would see two types of medication become controlled substances at a time when abortion rights are being hotly debated ahead of November’s presidential election.

Mifepristone and misoprostol, commonly used for abortions, would join the Schedule IV list in Louisiana — putting them on par with Valium and Xanax.

Possession of the medication without a prescription would be punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine, according to a text of the bill.

Authorized medical practitioners would be exempt, as would pregnant women if they had the medication for their own use.

Democrats believe hardline pro-abortion measures play against the Republicans electorally, and thus they have made it one of their key campaign issues.

“Absolutely unconscionable. The Louisiana House just passed a bill that would criminalize the possession of medication abortion, with penalties of up to several years of jail time,” Harris wrote on X on Tuesday.

“Let’s be clear: Donald Trump did this,” added Harris, who has previously criticized Trump for boasting of his role in reversing Roe v Wade, the federal guarantee of abortion rights that the Supreme Court overturned in 2022.

Abortion is banned in Louisiana with only very limited exceptions in cases of risk to the mother’s life or fetuses with fatal abnormalities.

President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign said it would hold a virtual news conference on the Louisiana bill on Wednesday morning with a reproductive health legal expert and a woman who was denied healthcare when she miscarried in the state.

Trump told Time magazine in April that he had “pretty strong views” on women’s access to mifepristone and would share his opinions within a week of the interview, but never did so.

The Republican candidate has given mixed signals on abortion. In March he suggested he would favor a nationwide ban at 15 or 16 weeks of pregnancy but later backtracked to say such decisions should be left up to the states.


About the author


Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

Daily Newsletter