You may remember that Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal signed a bill into law that will force all but two of the state's abortion clinics to close. Now RH Reality Check is reporting on a desperate measure that Lousiana women are resorting to: buying the abortion pill on the streets.
Affluent women are going to be able to travel the additional 300 miles to Shreveport, but poor women will not be able to make those long distances," Amy Irvin, a New Orleans Abortion Fund board member, told RH Reality Check. She said she worries that women in the state will start resorting to potentially unsafe procedures as was common before Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in the United States in 1973.
There's already anecdotal evidence here in New Orleans that the abortion pill is being sold on the street," said Irvin. "Women don't necessarily know who they're buying it from, and they're certainly not getting the information they need to use it properly and safely.
New Orleans and Baton Rouge provider Sylvia Cochran has heard similar stories:
Sylvia Cochran, who operates the Women's Healthcare Center, told RH Reality Check that she hears the same stories from her patients. "We are seeing women now who are buying medication off the street because they cannot afford an abortion," said Cochran. She shared a story about a patient who had bought cytotec off the street and took the pills thinking they would cause her to miscarry. The woman ended up in the emergency room, but the pregnancy was still intact. "She was then talking about buying more pills off the street," she said.
In addition to the Women's Healthcare Center, Cochran operates the Delta Center in Baton Rouge, which is also expected to have to close when HB 388 is implemented.
Louisiana has some of the worst reproductive health outcomes in the country, including a high unintended birth rate, with 80.4% of those births paid for by the state. With this new law, those numbers are all set to go up.
Image via AP.