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RELEASE: Louisiana GOP House Passes Bill That Would Classify Abortion Medications as “Controlled Dangerous Substances” 

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Republicans are pushing beyond total abortion bans and expanding attacks on reproductive freedoms to further control and punish women

WASHINGTON — Louisiana House Republicans passed a first-in-the-nation bill that would classify abortion pills as controlled dangerous substances, similar to some narcotics. The bill threatens to criminalize the possession of abortion medication without a prescription with a punishment of up to five years in prison. Misoprostol and mifepristone are used in the vast majority of abortions nationwide and are FDA-approved, and yet the use of these medications for abortion is already criminalized under the state’s total abortion ban. Criminalizing the simple possession of these drugs can further isolate pregnant women seeking abortion care by threatening those who help them with prison time. Additionally, these drugs have uses other than for abortion, and further criminalizing them threatens to make access for those purposes more difficult. 

This push to further criminalize medication abortion comes just weeks before the Supreme Court is set to rule on access to mifepristone in its biggest abortion-related case since overturning Roe v. Wade two years ago. Fourteen states have already banned medication abortion, and the GOP’s anti-abortion commitment is reaching new extremes in state legislatures every day. Electing Democratic majorities to legislatures is the only path to ensure protections for reproductive freedom. 

Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee National Press Secretary Sam Paisley  issued the following statement:

“Republicans’ attacks on abortion access become more extreme with each passing day, and now Louisiana Republicans are raising the stakes by working to further criminalize abortion medication. Classifying common and safe abortion pills like misoprostol and mifepristone – which have been used by millions of women – as controlled substances is outrageous. Louisiana Republicans already have a dangerous total abortion ban on the books that could threaten IVF access, and now they’re threatening jail time for simply possessing medication abortion pills. If Louisiana is successful in passing this dangerous bill into law, other Republican-led states will follow. The only way to stop this onslaught of Republican attacks in Louisiana and across the country is by making a concerted effort to build Democratic power in state legislatures. The states are on the frontlines of shaping the landscape of reproductive freedoms, and 2024 is the most important year yet to elect champions of reproductive care.”

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) is the official Democratic Party committee dedicated to winning America’s state legislatures and building state infrastructure. Over the last decade, we have fought cycle-over-cycle to gain a dozen new legislative chamber majorities and we are leading the effort to bring national attention and investment to our ballot level. State legislatures are the building blocks of our democracy and have the closest connections to Americans’ day-to-day lives. From protecting fundamental freedoms and voting rights to growing the middle class, the DLCC and state legislators are moving the Democratic agenda forward and shaping the future of this country.

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