Jun 21, 2022 - Health

Louisiana bill criminalizing abortion providers if Roe falls signed into law

Picture of three people holding signs in support of abortion rights

Photo: Paul Weaver/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) signed a bill into law Tuesday that would ban nearly all abortions in the state and criminalize providers if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.

The big picture: Louisiana is one of the 13 states with "trigger" laws, which are near-total abortion bans that would take effect shortly after a Roe overturn. The bill that was just enacted makes the state's post-Roe ban much more severe.

  • An abortion would only be allowed to save the life of the pregnant person, to "save the life or preserve the health" of the fetus, to remove an ectopic pregnancy, or to remove the remains of a miscarriage.

Be smart: Under the state's previous "trigger" law, abortion providers faced a fine of up to $1,000 and no more than two years in prison.

  • The newly signed law, S.B. 342, increases the penalty, making providing an abortion punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.

Details: The law also adds a new section on abortions performed later in the pregnancy. If an abortion is performed after 15 weeks of pregnancy, the provider shall be imprisoned for no more than 15 years and be fined up to $200,000.

  • The patient receiving the abortion cannot be prosecuted under the law.
  • The law takes effect if the Supreme Court "upholds the authority of the states to prohibit abortions," or if a constitutional amendment is adopted that "would restore to the state of Louisiana the authority to prohibit abortions."

What they're saying: The Louisiana bill is "the latest step in a growing attack against the fundamental freedoms of Americans," said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre when the law passed the state legislature.

  • Jean-Pierre called the measure "extreme" and "radical."

Go deeper: What abortion access would look like if Roe v. Wade is overturned

Go deeper