Poisoning pregnant women with abortion-inducing drugs could soon be felony under red-state bill

The GOP-controlled Louisiana House of Representatives advanced a bill Tuesday evening that criminalizes abortion coerced “by means of fraud” and also makes it illegal to possess two abortion drugs without a valid prescription by a 64-29 vote.

The bill, which now heads to the state Senate, would penalize coercers – with fines between $50,000 to $100,000 and 10 to 20 years imprisonment – who prey “on an unsuspecting pregnant mother without her knowledge or consent.” It also “amends various abortion criminal laws to add the crime of attempted abortion.”

The bill has drawn the ire of pro-abortion groups and Vice President Kamala Harris, who said the legislation was “absolutely unconscionable.”

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The GOP-controlled Louisiana House advanced a bill Tuesday evening that criminalizes abortion coerced “by means of fraud.” (Darin Oswald/Idaho Statesman/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

“The Louisiana House just passed a bill that would criminalize the possession of medication abortion, with penalties of up to several years of jail time,” Harris wrote on X.

State Sen. Thomas Pressly responded to Harris’s remarks, saying “what’s unconscionable is blatantly lying about my bill.”

“Leaving out the part about ‘not having a valid prescription’ & our efforts to protect expectant mothers from being slipped abortion meds by diabolical spouses, that’s kind of a big omission. Do better,” he wrote on X.

Senate Bill 276, dubbed the Catherine and Josephine Herring Act, honors the namesake mother-daughter duo who endured a coerced abortion when Catherine’s estranged husband surreptitiously administered abortion drugs that were procured in Mexico into her drinks without her knowing. Herring is the bill author’s sister.

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An amendment to the bill also categorizes abortion drugs mifepristone and misoprostol as controlled substances but permits doctors to prescribe them for non-abortion purposes, exempting women from punishment. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

“There was no ‘choice’ involved when my husband slipped abortion drugs into my drinks seven times,”Herring said in a statement obtained by Fox News Digital. “I suffered serious side effects from the drugs. I believe my daughter’s life would have ended if I had not taken abortion pill reversal doses of progesterone. As a survivor of domestic violence, I’m grateful for Louisiana’s willingness to protect women and children from those who intend to harm them with abortion drugs.”

In February, Catherine’s husband, Mason Herring, pleaded guilty to charges of child injury and assaulting a pregnant person, resulting in a 180-day jail sentence.

An amendment to the bill also categorizes abortion drugs mifepristone and misoprostol as controlled substances but permits doctors to prescribe them for non-abortion purposes, explicitly exempting women from punishment.

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Louisiana state Capitol (Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America regional director Caitlin Connors told Fox News Digital in a statement the bill is “necessary in a world where pro-abortion Democrats have enabled abusers to coerce and poison mothers with dangerous abortion drugs by removing in-person doctor visits and giving abortionists immunity through shield laws.”

The move comes in an election year when Democrats have sought to place the abortion issue front and center for voters. Republicans have struggled to adopt a universal position on the issue after achieving their decades-long goal of ending Roe v. Wade.

Fox News’ Digital’s Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report.

Jamie Joseph is a writer who covers politics. She leads Fox News Digital coverage of the Senate. 

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