Stop Prosecuting Abortion
The 'pro-life' movement must put down the handcuffs
The logical consequence of abortion bans is sending people to jail. The ‘pro-life’ movement has been working for decades to overturn Roe v. Wade and make abortion illegal. This has particular urgency today because the balance of power on the Supreme Court has shifted to an enduring majority justices poised to eliminate the federal constitutional right to abortion.
‘Pro-life’ leaders will claim that they only want abortion providers to be punished and paint women who have abortions as being pressured by the “abortion industry” [1-3]. But, what about cases where women are both the patient and the abortion provider?
In a gross violation of their human rights, women who self-manage their own abortions are already facing punishment. As we’ve outlined in our self-managed abortion campaign, there are many reasons a person may choose to self-manage their abortion, including a desire to have an abortion at home. Yet as abortion remains legal in the United States – though access is virtually non-existent in large swaths of the country and especially for low-income people and women of color – women are already being sent to jail for self-managing their own abortions in many states .
In Indiana, Purvi Patel was sentenced to 20 years in prison for self-managing her own abortion in 2015 . While her sentence was eventually reduced, Patel is not alone. Cases occur all over the country that punish women for pregnancy outcomes [6-9]. If this is happening while abortion is still technically legal, what would it look like if ‘pro-life’ leaders got their way and outlawed all abortion? What do they want to do to people who have abortions, then? We decided to ask them, and the results are disturbing.
You can see for yourself by watching our video campaign showcasing what ‘pro-life’ leaders, followers, and legislators have to say about punishing people who have abortions. Their responses are telling and their actions (or lack thereof) speak volumes.
It’s time to stop putting women in jail. Tell anti-abortion lawmakers to put down the handcuffs by watching and sharing our video campaign and signing our pledge to hold pro-life leaders accountable.