BBC News

Abortion advocates fear it could serve as a template for other states to crack down on the most-used method of abortion in the United States.

Louisiana looks set to become the first state in the nation to reclassify the drugs as “controlled dangerous substances” – a category typically reserved for addictive medications like opioids.

The bill would also ban their possession – without a valid prescription – punishable by fines or even prison time.

Pregnant women would be exempt from prosecution.

The bill originally focused on making it a crime to give a woman abortion pills without her knowledge. Classifying them as controlled substances was added later.

Most abortions are already illegal in Louisiana. The bill would further restrict access to the drugs, which are used in nearly two-thirds of all abortions in the United States.

Anti-abortion groups have praised the legislation, but many doctors have raised concerns, highlighting other crucial uses of the medications outside of abortions.

And some abortion rights advocates say the bill, if passed, could serve as a model for other states hoping to further restrict the procedure.

In a statement on social media, Vice-President Kamala Harris called the bill “unconscionable,” and blamed former President Donald Trump, who appointed many of the judges to the US Supreme Court that overturned the national right to an abortion two years ago.

The US Supreme Court court is expected to rule on national access to mifepristone in the coming weeks.

Mifepristone is used in combination with misoprostol for medical abortions.

It is the most significant abortion case before America’s top court since it overturned Roe V Wade.

The outcome could affect abortion access for millions.

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