Louisiana Criminalizes Forcing Abortion Pills on Pregnant Women


Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry (R) signed a groundbreaking bill on Friday making it a crime to poison unsuspecting pregnant women with abortion drugs.

Jeff Landry, attorney general of Louisiana, during a Weaponization of the Federal Government Subcommittee hearing in Washington, DC, US, on Thursday, March 30, 2023. The hearing is examining an effort by the Biden administration to dismiss a lawsuit alleging violation of free speech rights accomplished through government pressure on major social media platforms. Photographer: Valerie Plesch/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Jeff Landry on March 30, 2023. (Valerie Plesch/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“Requiring an abortion-inducing drug to be obtained with a prescription and criminalizing the use of an abortion drug on an unsuspecting mother is nothing short of common sense,” Landry said in a statement on X. “This bill protects women across Louisiana, and I was proud to sign this bill into law today.”

Anyone found guilty of possessing abortion pills without a valid prescription could face up to five years in prison. Pregnant women themselves are exempt from the law, and exceptions are made for using the same medications for non-abortion reasons.

The bill also established a new category of crime called “coerced criminal abortion,” which prohibits fraudulently using abortion drugs to cause or attempt to cause an abortion on a pregnant woman without her knowledge or consent. The penalty for this is five to ten years in prison and a fine of $10,000 to $75,000.

Bottles of the drug misoprostol sit on a table at the West Alabama Women’s Center, March 15, 2022, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (AP Photo/Allen G. Breed)

Anyone who commits a coerced criminal abortion on a woman more than three months pregnant could face ten to 20 years in prison and a fine of $50,000 to $100,000, according to the bill. The law is set to take effect on October 1.

Sen. Thomas Pressly (R) introduced the bill after his pregnant sister’s husband in Texas secretly attempted to abort her baby multiple times using abortion pills. The man, Mason Herring, ultimately pleaded guilty to injuring a child and the assault of a pregnant person and was sentenced to six months in jail after reaching a plea deal with the district attorney, the Shreveport Times reported

Herring was able to save her baby girl through the medical abortion reversal process — a process which Democrats are currently targeting around the country — though her daughter now suffers some adverse conditions from being born ten weeks prematurely, according to the report.

“I’m very grateful my niece and sister survived this incredibly cruel crime, but I want to make sure other women don’t have to go through this,” Pressly told USA Today Network.

“It’s clear to me that six months in jail isn’t punishment enough for committing this crime,” Pressly said. “Our family doesn’t believe justice was served in my sister’s case.”

The pro-abortion Biden administration quickly blamed former President Donald Trump for the bill’s passage, casting it as another attempt to curtail so-called reproductive freedom.

“Extremists in Louisiana just passed legislation to criminalize the possession of safe and effective abortion medication with penalties of several years of jail time. Donald Trump is to blame,” Vice President Kamala Harris said in a post to X.

Landry responded to Harris on X, saying, “Another day, another lie from the Biden administration.”

“Proud to stand with our legislature to ensure this drug can be obtained legally and safely — ensuring the protection of all women. Without this bill, women and the unborn are more susceptible to predators,” Landry wrote. “Contrary to the false narrative that the media perpetuates, we stand with the women of Louisiana.”

“Ask Senator Pressly’s sister about how safe these drugs are,” Louisiana Attorney General Liz Murrill added. “This is uninformed on all counts.”

The Supreme Court is currently weighing a case brought by pro-life organizations and doctors who want the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to reinstate several safety regulations around the use of mifepristone, the first drug used in a two-drug medication abortion regimen.

The rolled-back restrictions include the FDA’s decision in 2016 to extend the permissible gestational age of the baby for which a girl or woman may take abortion drugs from seven weeks’ gestation to ten weeks, its elimination of requiring prescribers to report non-fatal complications from the drug, and its 2021 rule change allowing abortionists to send mifepristone through the mail. The FDA also recently made permanent its rule to allow women and girls to receive a prescription for mifepristone via telemedicine.

Medication abortions accounted for 63 percent of all abortions in the United States in 2023, up from 53 percent in 2020, according to the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute.

Katherine Hamilton
Katherine Hamilton
Politics reporter. Covering Life and Liberty.

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