ACLU: strict anti-abortion law could also ban contraceptives

Contracept Technol Update. 1991 Sep;12(9):138-40.


PIP: In states that pass very restrictive abortion laws, contraceptives may be outlawed as well. A Louisiana law prohibits abortion, even to save the life of the mother, and defines the moment of conception to be contact between a spermatozoan and an ovum. The law carries a maximum 10 year prison sentence and a $100,000 maximum fine. According to this definition, oral contraceptives, IUDs and Norplant would all be considered abortifacient and would thus be illegal. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filled a suit on behalf of the women seeking abortions, the physicians performing abortions, and abortion clinics. There appear to be some problem with banning the contraceptives because the law stipulates that you must terminate the pregnancy with intent and if you don't know you are pregnant, then you can't have intent. Thus contraceptives work without knowledge of pregnancy and should not be included. The ACLU also claims that the definition of conception is not medically or scientifically accepted and as such it is faulty.

MeSH terms

  • Abortifacient Agents*
  • Abortion, Induced
  • Americas
  • Behavior
  • Contraception*
  • Contraceptives, Oral*
  • Developed Countries
  • Family Planning Services
  • Intrauterine Devices*
  • Jurisprudence*
  • Legislation as Topic*
  • Louisiana
  • Motivation*
  • North America
  • Psychology
  • United States


  • Abortifacient Agents
  • Contraceptives, Oral