A bill to place several restrictions on abortion pill distribution in Louisiana passed the state’s Senate on Monday with a vote of 33-2. Senate Bill 388 prohibits medical providers from prescribing abortion pills over the phone or online and then shipping the pills through the mail. Instead, it requires an in-person visit for the pill’s distribution. The legislation also prohibits anyone other than a licensed physician from distributing the abortion drugs.
The bill was sponsored by Senator Sharon Hewitt, who said that she was trying to protect women from “mail-order, do-it-yourself chemical abortions without oversight.” She also stressed that the bill would punish the abortion providers, not the mothers themselves. “We’re targeting manufacturers and distributors who are taking advantage of women,” she said.
During testimony in favor of the bill, Angie Thomas of Louisana Right to Life described how easy it was for her to receive the abortion pill drugs through the mail. “Without ultrasound and doctor evaluation, these pills can be harmful to the pregnant woman, potentially causing long-term bodily harm or even death. SB388 clarifies that the online and mail-order sale of abortion pills is unacceptable and dangerous to mothers and unborn children,” she said.
Louisiana joins a growing number of states that are working to implement restrictions on the abortion pill after the federal government decided to permanently loosen its regulations in 2021. While the FDA no longer requires an in-person exam for abortion pill distribution, some states are requiring it because the abortion pill comes with many risks. Without an in-person physical exam, the physician is unable to determine the woman’s accurate gestational age, if she has an extrauterine pregnancy, or has any contraindications for the abortion pill. One study has shown that the abortion pill is four times more dangerous than a surgical abortion, with complications that include incomplete abortion, failed abortion, blood clots in the uterus, hemorrhaging, infection, and death. Allowing a woman to experience these potential side effects without direct doctor oversight puts them at greater risk.
The bill next heads to the Louisiana House for consideration.
Editor’s Note: For information on abortion pill reversal, visit AbortionPillReversal.com.
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