Louisiana bill reclassifies abortion pills as controlled dangerous substances

This week, Louisiana legislators introduced a bill that would criminalize giving abortion pills to a pregnant person without the pregnant person’s consent. The bill also categorizes abortion pills as controlled dangerous substances, a class of drugs that includes narcotics, steroids, and depressants. A group of Louisiana doctors sent a letter to the bill’s sponsor expressing concerns that reclassifying abortion pills promotes a false narrative that abortion pills are dangerous. In the days after the bill was introduced, online conversations about the bill spread across multiple social media platforms, with some users voicing support for the bill and others expressing concerns that the bill is another attempt to “control women.”

Recommendation: Articles and social media posts about this bill may cause confusion about the safety of abortion pills and current abortion laws in Louisiana and in other states. Ensuring that informational materials covering abortion—including any FAQs and one-pagers—include details about the safety of abortion pills and how to access them is recommended. Messaging may emphasize that decades of studies have concluded that abortion pills are a safe and effective way to end a pregnancy. While abortion is currently banned in Louisiana—except in cases when abortion is necessary to prevent risk to the pregnant person’s health or life or when the fetus is not expected to survive—Louisiana residents can still access abortion pills by getting a prescription from an online clinic or by traveling to another state where in-person clinics can legally offer abortion pills. Staying up to date on trending narratives and preparing for questions about abortion laws in your state—as well as ensuring that FAQ sheets and public-facing websites are updated with the latest information about local abortion laws—is also recommended.