Louisiana House Passes Bill to Classify Abortion Pills as Controlled Substances

(LibertySons.org) – The federal government has five classifications for controlled substances, and a drug’s placement depends on things like the risk of addiction and the possibility of abuse. States can adopt their own lists by adding drugs to the federal schedule. In Louisiana, the State House has taken steps to add two medical abortion medications to the state’s list.

On May 21, the Lousiana State House approved amendments to Senate Bill 276. Included in the list is the classification of mifepristone and misoprostol to the state’s class IV schedule of controlled substances. These two drugs are the ones most commonly used for chemical abortions in the country. According to the Guttmacher Institute, chemical abortions accounted for 63% of all abortions in the US in 2023. This is ten percentage points higher than in 2020.

As Schedule IV drugs, people in possession of either medication without a valid prescription or medical orders could face fines and up to five years in prison. Pregnant women would not be subject to prosecution if they are using it for themselves. Even though all types of abortion are illegal in Louisiana, the amendment does not seek to ban the drugs altogether. They do have uses other than pregnancy termination. Opponents of the measure claim it could impact treatments for miscarriage and ulcers.

Another aspect of the bill is that it would make “coerced criminal abortion by means of fraud” illegal. This is especially relevant for one of the sponsors of the amendment. The sister of state Sen. Thomas Pressly (R) was the victim of such usage. Her estranged husband pleaded guilty to secretly spiking her drinks when she became pregnant with their third child. He was sentenced to 180 days in jail for assault on a pregnant woman and injury to a child.

The bill will now go back to the Senate. If the amendment passes there, it will head to Governor Jeff Landry’s (R) desk for his signature.

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