FAQs About Abortion

Abortion clinics in Louisiana may not be providing abortions in Louisiana at this time. Call the Clinics for more information.

On July 29, 2022, the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal orders abortion bans must be reinstated. The ruling means the lower court’s order blocking the law must be suspended while AG Landry appeals 

See our timeline of this litigation.

Louisiana has a law designed to be “triggered” and take effect if Roe v. Wade is overturned, “in whole or in part”. When the "trigger" ban takes effect, the following information is applicable.

What does Louisiana’s Trigger Law Say?

It shall be unlawful for a physician or other person to perform an abortion, with or without the consent of the pregnant female.

No person may knowingly administer to, prescribe for, or procure for, or sell to any pregnant woman any medicine, drug, or other substance with the specific intent of causing or abetting the termination of the life of an unborn human being. No person may knowingly use or employ any instrument or procedure upon a pregnant woman with the specific intent of causing or abetting the termination of the life of an unborn human being (R.S. 40:1061).

Are there any exceptions?

YES. There are no exceptions for rape or incest, but the following exceptions do apply:  (R.S. 14:87.1)

  • A medical procedure performed with the intention to save the life or preserve the health of an unborn child.

  • A medical procedure used to treat spontaneous miscarriage or to remove an ectopic pregnancy.

  • The use of methotrexate to treat an ectopic pregnancy.

  • The performance of a medical procedure necessary in good faith medical judgment or reasonable medical judgment to prevent the death or substantial risk of death to the pregnant woman due to a physical condition, or to prevent the serious, permanent impairment of a life-sustaining organ of a pregnant woman. However, the physician shall make reasonable medical efforts under the circumstances to preserve both the life of the mother and the life of her unborn child in a manner consistent with reasonable medical practice.

  • The removal of an unborn child who is deemed to be medically futile. The diagnosis shall be a medical judgment certified by two qualified physicians and recorded in the woman's medical record. The medical procedure shall be performed in a licensed ambulatory surgical center or hospital.

Does this law make birth control or emergency contraception illegal? 

NO. The law clearly states that it shall not apply to the sale, use, prescription, or administration of a contraceptive or an emergency contraceptive. (R.S. 14:87.1)

"Contraceptive" means any device, measure, drug, chemical, or product, including single-ingredient levonorgestrel, that has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for the purpose of preventing pregnancy and is intended to be administered prior to the time when a clinically diagnosable pregnancy can be determined, provided that the contraceptive is sold, prescribed, or administered in accordance with manufacturer's instructions. (R.S. 14:87.1)

"Emergency contraceptive" means a drug, chemical, or product, including but not limited to single-ingredient levonorgestrel or ulipristal, that has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration designed or intended to be taken after sexual intercourse but prior to the time when a clinically diagnosable pregnancy can be determined, provided that the emergency contraceptive is sold, prescribed, or administered in accordance with manufacturer's instructions or is prescribed in accordance with the standard of care that generally accepted by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (R.S. 14:87.1)

Does this law make IVF illegal?

NO

Could someone go to jail for performing an abortion in Louisiana in violation of the Trigger Law?

YES

A physician or other person that performs an abortion BEFORE 15 weeks of gestation shall be imprisoned at hard labor for not less than one year nor more than ten years and shall be fined not less than ten thousand dollars nor more than one hundred thousand dollars. (R.S. 14:87.7)

A physician or other person that performs an abortion AFTER 15 weeks of gestation shall be imprisoned at hard labor for not less than one year nor more than fifteen years and shall be fined not less than twenty thousand dollars nor more than two hundred thousand dollars.  (R.S. 14:87.8)

Can I leave the state to get an abortion?

Yes. The law does not prohibit people from traveling to another state for abortion care. For more information about where to get an abortion in another state. 

Which states are NOT going to ban abortion?

Check out this map by The Center for Reproductive Rights to see abortion laws by state.

What if I can’t afford to go to another state?

Across the United States there are funds providing direct financial assistance to people seeking abortion care.

In Louisiana you can contact:

If you are traveling to another state for care, you can speak with a clinic about what financial assistance might be available to you, visit abortionfunds.org to find a fund in the region, or call the NAF hotline (1-800-772-9100) for funding.

Can I drive someone to another state?

YES, but... not if they are a minor (under 18). The law does not prohibit people from traveling to another state for abortion care. However, unless you are a parent or legal guardian of a minor, you cannot drive them to another state without their parent/guardian’s permission.

Can I help pay for someone’s abortion?

YES. The law does not prohibit people from providing financial assistance to someone seeking abortion care

Can I tell someone where they can get an abortion?

YES. Sharing information is protected by the First Amendment.

Can a pharmacist refuse to fill my prescription for contraception or medication that could be used to terminate a pregnancy?

Louisiana law grants any person the right not to participate in any health-care service that violates his/her conscience to the extent that patient access to health care is not compromised. The law defines conscience to mean “sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction.” The pharmacy is required to have another staff person onsite to provide the medication in the event that an employee refuses. 

However, refusing to fill a valid prescription by a Louisiana licensed physician may be a violation of your civil rights. 

If you believe that your or another person’s civil rights, conscience rights, or health information privacy rights have been violated, visit the OCR complaint portal to file a complaint online at: https://www.hhs.gov/ocr/complaints/index.html

You can also file a complaint against a pharmacy, pharmacist, or pharmacy technician licensed by the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy here: https://www.pharmacy.la.gov/page/how-to-file-a-complaint


What are abortion pills?

Abortion pills refer to the medications Mifepristone and Misoprostol, which have been included on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) List of Essential Medicines since 2005. Abortion with pills is well documented to be a safe and effective option, with complications occurring in less than one-percent of abortions. 

The WHO created a protocol for how women may manage their abortion with misoprostol without direct provider supervision.

Can doctors in Louisiana provide medication abortion?

NO. If Louisiana’s “trigger” ban is in effect - all abortions, surgical or medication, are prohibited except in limited circumstances. See exceptions above.

Can I order abortion medication online?

Louisiana has recently passed Act 548, which will to make it a crime to deliver, dispense, distribute, or provide a pregnant woman with an abortion-inducing drug. This law will take effect on August 1, 2022. The law will prohibit abortion-inducing drug from being sold, prescribed, dispensed, distributed, or delivered in Louisiana.

"Abortion-inducing drug" means any drug or chemical, or any combination of drugs or chemicals, or any other substance when used with the intent to cause an abortion, including but not limited to RU-486, the Mifeprex regimen, misoprostol (Cytotec), or methotrexate.

A physician or other person that performs an abortion in violation of this law shall be imprisoned at hard labor for not less than one nor more than five years, fined not less than five thousand nor more than fifty thousand dollars, or both.

Is it illegal for me to possess or consume abortion pills?

NO, but… It is not illegal for a pregnant person to possess for her own consumption or consume an abortion-inducing drug. However, the use of medication to terminate a pregnancy could be criminalized using other criminal statutes.   

Can I give or share abortion pills with someone?

NO

PLEASE NOTE!!!

The regulations on abortion pills are constantly changing, and these laws are selectively enforced in a way that targets systemically oppressed people. But regardless of what happens in the courts, you don’t need anyone’s permission to end your pregnancy with abortion pills.

If a person is targeted by law enforcement for ending their own pregnancy, the Repro Legal Defense Fund provides financial support for posting bail and securing defense counsel.

For more information about abortion with pills, check out Self-Managed Abortion; Safe and Supported and Self-Managed Abortion FAQ.