Prohibiting Sale of Chemical Abortion Pills Clears Louisiana Senate Committee

HB 388 to Strengthen Current Law, Clarify Penalties for Dangerous Mail-Order Abortions

BATON ROUGE – Senate Bill 388 prohibiting the sale of chemical abortions passed the Senate Judiciary Committee by a 3 to 1 margin. If passed, the legislation would strengthen current law by clarifying that there are criminal penalties for the distribution of chemical abortion pills, mail-order abortions, and dangerous DIY abortions without physician oversight.

SB 388, authored by State Sen. Sharon Hewitt (R-Slidell), would give local district attorneys the ability to prosecute these crimes and clarify that providing or mailing abortion pills without an in-person physician visit is illegal and unacceptable in Louisiana. The bill would apply the criminal penalties to the distributor of the abortion pill, not the pregnant woman. Senator Hewitt will be working to further clarify with amendments that the bill does not criminalize a woman seeking an abortion. 

“Out-of-state abortion businesses are selling dangerous abortion pills online and mailing them to Louisiana for women to take at home without instruction, physician-oversight or continued care,” said Angie Thomas, Associate Director and legal counsel for Louisiana Right to Life. “Without ultrasound and doctor evaluation, these pills can be harmful to the pregnant woman, potentially causing long-term bodily harm or even death. SB 388 clarifies that the online and mail-order sale of abortion pills is unacceptable and dangerous to mothers and unborn children.”