A measure outlawing the mailing of abortion-inducing drugs has passed the Louisiana legislature and is headed to the state’s governor, John Bel Edwards, for consideration.
Gov. Edwards is a Democrat who has previously signed pro-life bills that pass the state house into law. The Epoch Times reported that if the bill is signed it will go into effect on August 1.
The bill, S.B. 388, authored by Republican State Senator Sharon Hewitt underwent a series of amendments in the Louisiana House of Representatives before being approved 31-1 by the state Senate this past Friday.
If signed into law by Edwards, the measure will make it a crime for someone to knowingly cause an abortion by “delivering, dispensing, distributing, or providing a pregnant woman with an abortion-inducing drug” if the person providing the chemical abortive is not a doctor licensed under state law to administer the drug to women.
The bill does not, however, penalize women who seek abortions.
The bill defines chemical abortives and abortion-inducing drugs as “any drug or chemical, or any combination of drugs or chemicals, or any other substance when used with the intent to cause an abortion, including but not limited to RU-486, the Mifeprex regimen, misoprostol (Cyotec), or methotrexate.”
The proposed legislation also that the term “abortion-inducing drug” excludes any “contraceptive, an emergency contraceptive, or the use of methotrexate to treat an ectopic pregnancy.”
According to the bill’s text, if a person is found guilty of delivering, dispending, distributing, or providing chemical abortives, they “shall be imprisoned at hard labor” and could face hefty fines.
The bill states, “Any person who knowingly performs an abortion by means of an abortion-inducing drug in violation of this Section shall be imprisoned at hard labor for not less than one nor more than five years, fined not less than five thousand nor more than fifty thousand dollars, or both.”
It also makes a distinct differentiation between providing the drugs for a woman to conduct an abortion and someone who “knowingly performs an abortion by means of abortion-inducing drug[s]” subsequently harming the expectant mother in the process.
The bill states, “Any person who knowingly performs an abortion by means of abortion-inducing drug in violation of this Section that results in the death or serious bodily injury of the pregnant woman shall be imprisoned at hard labor for not less than five nor more than ten years, fined not less than ten thousand nor more than seventy-five thousand dollars, or both.”