Louisiana lawmakers vote to make abortion pills controlled substances Skip to content

Louisiana lawmakers vote to make abortion pills controlled substances

The legislation would make possession of the drugs without a prescription a crime in Louisiana, punishable with jail time.

1 min read

Louisiana lawmakers passed legislation on Thursday to make the state the first in the nation to designate abortion pills as dangerous controlled substances. Possession of the drugs without a prescription would be a crime punishable with jail time and thousands of dollars in fines.

The legislation, which passed the State Senate by a vote of 29 to 7, now goes to Gov. Jeff Landry, a Republican who previously defended the state’s stringent abortion ban in court as attorney general. He is widely expected to sign it.

By classifying the abortion pills mifepristone and misoprostol as Schedule IV drugs — a category of medicines with some potential for abuse or dependence that includes Ambien, Valium and Xanax, among others — lawmakers in the state say they aim to curb the illicit distribution of the drugs for abortions. But the Food and Drug Administration does not consider the two medications to have potential for abuse or dependence, and years of research have overwhelmingly shown both pills to be safe.

Because Louisiana already bans most abortions, and because the two drugs are also prescribed for other uses — both can be used during miscarriages, and misoprostol is often used to prevent ulcers and help during childbirth — hundreds of doctors in the state strenuously opposed the legislation.

Read the rest at the NY Times.

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