Committee approves bills to increase abortion penalties for doctors, ban abortion pills by mail

Published: May 17, 2022

By: Piper Hutchinson | LSU Manship School News Service

Sen. Katrina Jackson, D-Monroe
Associated Press photo by Melinda Deslatte

The Louisiana House Committee on Health and Welfare Tuesday advanced two anti-abortion bills in bipartisan votes.

Senate Bill 342, sponsored by state Sen. Katrina Jackson, D-Monroe, would increase criminal penalties for abortion providers under Louisiana’s trigger laws.

Louisiana is one of 13 states with trigger laws that go into effect if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. Under a law signed by former Gov. Kathleen Blanco, abortion would become illegal almost immediately upon the overturning of Roe.

Existing laws allows for prison terms of one to five years and fines of $5,000 to $50,000 for abortion providers. Jackson’s bill increases the penalties to one to 10 years of prison time and fines of $10,000 to $100,000.

Jackson included language that would prohibit criminal penalties from being applied to women who end their own pregnancies.

While Jackson’s bill would not criminalize those who undergo abortions, abortion rights advocates point out that women who end their pregnancies could still be penalized under other existing abortion statutes.

Louisiana’s criminal code defines person as “a human being from the moment of fertilization and implantation.”

This definition could allow for prosecution of anybody who ends a pregnancy, not just abortion providers.

Read more at The Advocate

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