Senate Bill 388 would make it illegal for companies to provide abortion-inducing drugs mifepristone and misoprostol, passing in a 31-1 victory in the state’s Senate.
The legislation would prohibit the delivery, dispense, distribution or providing of the drugs to a pregnant woman if the person is not a doctor licensed within the state.
It would also penalize “any person who knowingly performs and abortion by means of abortion-inducing drug,” but would not the woman who would choose to have the abortion.
The bill states that penalties include either jail time up to five years, a maximum fine of $50,000 or both.
“We’re targeting manufacturers and distributors who are taking advantage of women,” state Republican Sen. Sharon Hewitt said, saying the bill would “close a loophole.”
She added that the new legislation seeks to protect pregnant women from “mail-order, do-it-yourself chemical abortions without oversight.”
Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards has previously signed pro-life legislation in his state. The future of the bill remains unclear.
The Guttmacher Institute reported that abortions with abortion-inducing drugs accounted for 54% of U.S. abortions by the year 2020.
“That year is the first time medication abortion crossed the threshold to become the majority of all abortions and it is a significant jump from 39% in 2017, when Guttmacher last reported these data,” its report noted.
Several other states are also taking action against abortion-inducing drugs, which not only kill the child, but can also severely harm the mother.
19 states now require the person administering drugs to be physically present when they are given, and there are 13 other proposals which would require doctors to educate women about abortion pill reversal treatment.
An announcement about the Louisiana bill is expected to be made early this week.