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BATON ROUGE, Louisiana (LifeSiteNews) — Louisiana Republican Gov. Jeff Landry signed into law on Friday a new measure to classify abortion pills as controlled substances, making possession without a prescription a criminal offense.

As previously covered by LifeSiteNews, the Catherine and Josephine Herring Act puts mifepristone and misoprostol, two drugs commonly used in combination to cause chemical abortions, on Louisiana’s list of Schedule IV drugs under its Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances law, classifying them as drugs considered to have the potential for abuse or dependence. It makes possession without a prescription a criminal offense subject to significant fines and up to ten years in prison. However, it exempts women who possess mifepristone and misoprostol for their own consumption.

The law was originally introduced by Republican state Sen. Thomas Pressly, motivated by the ordeal of his sister, Catherine Pressly Herring. In February, her then-husband Mason Herring pleaded guilty to spiking her drinking water with abortion pills, causing her to become seriously ill. Her baby daughter, Josephine, was saved via abortion pill reversal, but still has health complications stemming from her premature birth.

ABC News reports that Landry signed the law on Friday. “Requiring an abortion inducing drug to be obtained with a prescription and criminalizing the use of an abortion drug on an unsuspecting mother is nothing short of common sense,” he said. “This bill protects women across Louisiana and I was proud to sign this bill into law today.” The new law takes effect starting October 1. 

Abortion is already generally illegal in the Bayou State, but the new law will help make it harder to facilitate through distribution of abortion pills, one of the abortion lobby’s favored tactics to keep the industry alive after the fall of Roe v. Wade, as well as make it harder for abusers to obtain pills with which to force women to abort.

A 2020 open letter from a coalition of pro-life groups to then-FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn noted that the FDA’s own adverse reporting system says the “abortion pill has resulted in over 4,000 reported adverse events since 2000, including 24 maternal deaths. Adverse events are notoriously underreported to the FDA, and as of 2016, the FDA only requires abortion pill manufacturers to report maternal deaths.”

Pro-lifers warn that with the Biden administration completely eliminating requirements that abortion pills be taken in the presence of a medical professional, meaning without any medical supervision or medical support close by, those events are certain to increase. 

“A November 2021 study by Charlotte Lozier Institute scholars appeared in the peer-reviewed journal Health Services Research and Managerial Epidemiology,” writes Catholic University of America research associate Michael New. “They analyzed state Medicaid data of over 400,000 abortions from 17 states that fund elective abortions through their Medicaid programs. They found that the rate of abortion-pill-related emergency-room visits increased over 500 percent from 2002 through 2015. The rate of emergency-room visits for surgical abortions also increased during the same time period, but by a much smaller margin.’”