The American South is confirmed as a virtuous laboratory of pro-life policies. By the end of the year, legislation restricting the use of chemical abortion is likely to be passed in Louisiana.
House Bill 388, sponsored by Republican Senator Sharon Hewitt, seeks to prohibit medical personnel from prescribing abortion pills online or over the phone, as well as sending them by mail. Measures against the crime of induced chemical abortion are also included in the draft.
The first green light for House Bill 388 came from the Louisiana Senate Judiciary C Committee, with three votes for and one against.
Louisiana’s uniqueness is in the pro-life stances of most of its congresspersons, including many Democrats. Governor John Bel Edwards, though a Democrat, is also opposed to abortion, so everything points to a decidedly downhill road for the new norm.
Mothers more protected
Under the provisions of Senator Hewitt’s bill, the abortion pill may only be prescribed by a physician in the presence of the pregnant woman. This would be a rule in conflict with the regulations of the Food and Drug Administration, which in December allowed the distribution of abortion pills by mail.
The second part of the Hewitt bill envisages stricter penalties (fines from $5,000 to $100,000 and imprisonment from 5 to 50 years) for those who cause serious injury or death to a pregnant woman.
“The effect of this bill is it explicitly allows for criminal prosecution of a pregnant person,” said Ellie Schilling, a New Orleans attorney who advises abortion clinics in Louisiana. Senator Hewitt quickly responded, stating that “it is not our intention to punish a pregnant woman in any way.”
The pill is the real battlefield
According to the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, more than half of the terminations performed last year in the United States were chemical abortions, which is a sufficient reason for at least sixteen states to place restrictions on the use of abortion pills. A shipping ban similar to the one being discussed in Louisiana has already been approved in Arizona, Arkansas and Texas.
Last year, Louisiana’s Congress voted for a rule that binds doctors to discourage medication abortions in some way: they are then required to remind expectant mothers that if they take only the first of the two abortion pills (mifepristone) but not the second (progesterone), the pregnancy–although now at risk–can still be carried to term.
Namely, even when a woman takes the first pill, her baby can be saved by a procedure that has spread throughout the USA, in the UK and in other countries: the abortion pill reversal, practiced among others by the British gynecologist Dermot Kearney, who has saved thousands of children from chemical abortion.