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Louisiana Governor Signs Groundbreaking Abortion Drug Legislation

Payam Javan: Louisiana Governor Jeff Landry signed a landmark bill on May 24, categorizing the abortion drugs mifepristone and misoprostol as controlled substances. The law, passed by the state Senate just a day earlier, mandates prescriptions for these drugs and criminalizes their use on unsuspecting women. Known as SB 276, the legislation places these drugs under Schedule IV of Louisiana’s Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Law and introduces the crime of “coerced criminal abortion by means of fraud,” with penalties including fines and jail time.

Governor Landry highlighted that the law aims to protect women and prevent unauthorized drug use. However, critics, including over 200 local doctors and the Biden administration, argue it could impede treatment for miscarriage complications and limit access to essential medication. Vice President Kamala Harris labeled the bill extremist, while Landry maintained it ensures the legal and safe use of these drugs.

The bill was partly inspired by an incident involving state Senator Thomas Pressly’s sister, who was unknowingly given abortion pills by her husband. Proponents argue the law strengthens protections for women and unborn children against deceitful harm.

This new law comes ahead of an anticipated U.S. Supreme Court ruling on mifepristone regulations expected by the end of June.

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