As women face jail time in the United States for self-managing their own abortions, anti-abortion politicians are trying to make it harder for people to access in-clinic abortion. Outlawing abortion sends people to jail, full stop.
Congressman Steve King (R-IA) sponsored a six-week abortion ban and has expressed sympathies with white nationalists. When we asked him his thoughts on people going to jail for abortion, he refused to answer our question. Instead, he chastised us.
During his first conversation with Reproaction, Congressman King suggested he would need to learn more about the specific case we referenced about a woman going to jail for abortion. We told him about Purvi Patel, who in 2015 was sentenced to 20 years in prison for self-managing her own abortion in Indiana. Her sentence was eventually reduced and she was released; she should have never faced jail time in the first place. After more than a year, we spoke to Congressman King once again. When we asked him about jail time for self-managed abortion for a second time, he had to ask us what he previous answer even was – and he once again failed to denounce Purvi Patel’s unjust imprisonment for abortion. King stated we should “read his bills” to find out if he supports the criminalization of women who have abortions.
Congressman King has sponsored multiple pieces of legislation that threaten prison time for abortion providers. In addition, he cosponsored legislation that extends the constitutional rights of a “human being” to a fertilized egg. That legislation does not mention if pregnant people would be punished, including for self-managed abortion, when a person in effect serves as their own abortion provider. It should be noted that silence is not golden, as this theory of so-called personhood was employed in the recent arrest and indictment of an Alabama woman named Marshae Jones who lost her wanted pregnancy after another individual shot her in the abdomen.
This is unacceptable. Share our video and sign our petition demanding Rep. Steve King denounce criminalization of abortion.