Until recently, the pro-life movement has focused on stopping surgical abortions committed in brick-and-mortar facilities. However, according to the Guttmacher Institute, the pro-abortion former research arm of Planned Parenthood, more than half of abortions are now committed by abortion pill. These can be taken at home and can even be ordered online, and patients induce abortions in their homes without a physician present. A new bill in Louisiana aims to restrict the distribution of these mail-order abortion drugs.
Louisiana state law requires an in-person visit to a physician and a prescription in order to receive abortion-inducing drugs. However, recent moves to make these drugs accessible through online ordering make it easy to violate these laws. SB 388 enforces the laws that are already in place against abortion drugs being mailed from out-of-state businesses. It also proposes harsher penalties for physicians who violate restrictions on the distribution of abortion medication.
In December 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave its approval for physicians to mail abortion-inducing drugs to patients after a telemedicine visit. Despite this approval, some states are moving to put a stop to this practice, deeming it unsafe. Many pro-life lawmakers are writing bills that restrict access to the abortion pill. Louisiana Senator Sharon Hewitt is one of these.
On Tuesday, April 12, Louisiana’s Senate Judiciary Committee voted 3-1 in support of Hewitt’s Senate Bill 388: “Stopping Illegal Sale of Chemical Abortion Act.” It is likely that the Bill will be passed, as the majority of Louisiana’s lawmakers and its governor do not support the legalization of abortion. Hewitt ensured that her bill would enforce consequences for those who sell abortion pills, not for pregnant women.
The abortion pill is reportedly four times as dangerous as surgical abortion, and comes with risks such as hemorrhaging, sepsis, and even death. Studies have shown that 5-6% of women have experienced complications serious enough to warrant an emergency room visit.
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