The controversial near-ban on abortion awaiting action by Gov. Buddy Roemer also would criminalize the use of intrauterine birth control devices, or IUDs, the state attorney general said.

But Attorney General William Guste contended in an interview that prosecutions are highly unlikely under that aspect of the measure, which - technically at least - would expose IUD users to potential prison sentences of 10 years."Who's going to report the crime? Who's going to know?" Guste said Thursday. "Never in the history of the state has a woman been prosecuted (for such a crime). While technically that would be an abortion, it's speculating on an act which has never been prosecuted."

Roemer has yet to sign or veto the measure, which was hastily approved Sunday night by the Louisiana Legislature as a compromise after the state Senate sustained Roemer's veto of an earlier, even more restrictive pro-life bill.

The governor can either sign or veto the new measure or let it become law without his signature. Roemer had 20 days from July 8 to take action.