Sen. Pressly’s Abortion by Fraud Bill Passes House Committee

BATON ROUGE Today, Sen. Thomas Pressly’s Abortion by Fraud bill (Senate Bill 276) was reported favorably in the House Criminal Justice committee. The legislation creates a new crime of “coerced criminal abortion by means of fraud” to give law enforcement proper means to prosecute those who use deceit and manipulation to harm pregnant women and their unborn children.

In committee, Sen. Pressly amended the bill to add the abortion-inducing drugs mifepristone and misoprostol to the Louisiana list of controlled substances. Sen. Pressly’s shared his statement with his colleagues and Louisiana Right to Life for redistribution:

I am grateful to the House Health and Welfare Committee for passing my legislation, SB 276. The abortion pill poisoning perpetrated on my sister should be recognized as a crime in Louisiana law. 

Throughout the process, I have been trying to determine what other steps I can take to control the rampant illegal distribution of abortion-inducing drugs that ended up hurting my sister. To that end, I amended my bill today to add the abortion-inducing drugs mifepristone and misoprostol to the Louisiana list of controlled substances. 

Federal law is clear that when a drug is frequently abused and is a risk to the health of citizens, it is appropriate to include it as a controlled substance. My sister’s story is clear proof that these drugs are being weaponized and are a risk to the public health. By placing these drugs on the controlled substance list, we will assist law enforcement in protecting vulnerable women and unborn babies.

I recognize that there are legitimate medical uses other than elective abortion for these drugs. Louisiana law is clear that if abortion-inducing drugs are used for purposes other than elective abortion, they are legal for use. The medical community is well-versed with using controlled substances in the course of their medical practice.

My amendment also makes clear that no woman possessing abortion pills for her own consumption shall not be subject to criminal prosecution. Women are often the second victims of abortion, and we are aware of increasing incidents of men using threats of violence or duress to cause women to take abortion pills against their will. 

I look forward to SB 276 being signed into law to enhance the protections for women like my sister and all citizens of Louisiana.