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Louisiana to Classify Abortion Pills as Controlled Substances and Criminalize Possession of Drugs without Prescription

Louisiana is gearing to classify the drugs utilized in medication abortions as controlled substances and criminalizing possession of the drugs without a prescription after the Louisiana House approved legislation on Tuesday, May 21. 

The bill passed 64 to 29 in the GOP-controlled state House, and once signed into law, Louisiana will become the first state to classify misoprostol and mifepristone as controlled substances. These two drugs are used to terminate early-stage pregnancies. 

Controlled substances have historically applied to drugs considered addictive, such as the likes of opioids and depressants. The classification allows states to track drugs and create a database of who receives them, while viewing the usage of the medication without a prescription is a crime. Under the legislation however, pregnant women are exempted from prosecution. 

The two-drug regimen accounts for over half of all abortions across the U.S. 

The medications are also used to treat other care such as managing miscarriages, according to Ellie Schilling, an attorney in Louisiana, who claims that the bill would make it “incredibly difficult” to utilize the drug for medically necessary purposes, and would lead to the government  “monitoring pregnant women and those who prescribe the medication.”

“The State of Louisiana would effectively be creating a database of prescriptions for every woman who is prescribed mifepristone and misoprostol, regardless of the reason, truly monitoring women and their pregnancies,” Schilling said. “That should be unimaginable in America.”

Abortion is banned in Louisiana except when deemed necessary to prevent the risk of death for the mother or when the pregnancy is medically futile.

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