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Louisiana Governor Cracks Down On Abortion Pills, Strengthens Trigger Ban

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Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, a rare anti-abortion Democrat, signed two pieces of laws up to now week taking aim at abortion ahead of the Supreme Court’s decision on Roe v. Wade.

One in every of the brand new measures bans physicians from prescribing medication abortion over the phone or online, requiring patients to go to a provider in person and take the medication in front of them.

The brand new policy, slated to enter effect on Aug. 1, might be complicated and time-consuming for patients in search of this common first-trimester option. The abortion-inducing pills should be taken over the course of 24-48 hours, so the law would require patients to take multiple visits to a provider. And abortion clinics nationwide have been inundated with out-of-state patients, partly as a result of Texas and Oklahoma ― each near Louisiana ― enacting the country’s strictest abortion bans in recent months. In lots of places, experts on the matter say, clinic appointments are booked two to 4 weeks out.

One other bill Edwards signed strengthens Louisiana’s so-called “trigger ban” that enables the state to swiftly outlaw abortion if the Supreme Court overthrows Roe v. Wade, which can occur in the approaching weeks. This laws increases the criminal penalties for abortion, increasing prison time from five to 10 years and raising fines from $10,000 to $100,000.

Edwards said in an announcement that he signed the update to the trigger ban although he believes it should include exceptions for rape and incest, which it doesn’t.

“My position on abortion has been unwavering,” he said. “I’m pro-life and have never hidden from that fact. This doesn’t belie my belief that there ought to be an exception to the prohibition on abortion for victims of rape and incest.”

NARAL Pro-Selection America President Mini Timmaraju said in an announcement Tuesday that Louisiana Republicans “ought to be ashamed of themselves” and that her office might be working to make sure voters oust Edwards from office next yr in light of his stance on reproductive rights.

“As an alternative of working additional time to make sure the people of Louisiana can proceed to make their very own decisions about when to start out or grow their families, these politicians are finding latest ways to insert themselves into our personal lives. Voters won’t forget which politicians refused to guard their rights on this critical moment — and NARAL might be working to coach and mobilize them to make sure a champion for reproductive freedom wins the governor’s office in 2023,” she said.

Louisiana is one in all 13 states with trigger laws on the books, but a minimum of 22 states are expected to outlaw abortion in nearly all instances as soon because the Supreme Court gives them the go-ahead. A draft opinion leaked from the court last month revealed that the justices were planning to toss out nearly 50 years of abortion protections established by Roe v. Wade and let states rule on the matter without federal oversight.

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