SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A bill that would criminalize abortion in Louisiana is going to the House for debate and final passage Thursday, leaving many women concerned that the legislation–if passed–could threaten the availability of emergency contraceptives.
Louisiana State Rep. Danny McCormick, who represents Caddo and Bossier Parish in the Louisiana House, introduced HB813, the “Abolition of Abortion in Louisiana Act of 2022. It passed out of the House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice on May 4 before heading to consideration in the House.
The act defines the “personhood” of an unborn fetus and calls for the state to recognize the life of the unborn “at all stages of development prior to birth from the moment of fertilization.”
The bill’s language has some wondering if the law can go a step further and criminalize or even ban emergency contraceptives like the Plan B pill.
According to the Mayo Clinic, so-called “morning-after pills” are a backup contraceptive method. These emergency contraceptives do not end a pregnancy. Instead, hormones in the pills prevent or delay ovulation to avoid unwanted pregnancies. In other words, a pregnant woman who takes a Plan B or other over-the-counter emergency birth control would still be pregnant.
The bill’s author says the bill aims to protect the unborn from the moment of fertilization, not to upend the usage or availability of birth control.
The bill also calls for the removal or impeachment of judges that overrule or void any provision of the act.