Stop Prosecuting Abortion

The 'pro-life' movement must put down the handcuffs

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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 [4].

In Indiana, Purvi Patel was sentenced to 20 years in prison for self-managing her own abortion in 2015 [5]. 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.

Sources:

  1. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/31/us/politics/donald-trump-abortion.html
  2. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/abortion-rights-activists-brace-for-new-wave-of-restrictions/
  3. https://www.frc.org/op-eds/the-abortion-industry-a-study-in-predation
  4. https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/8f83e4_dd27a51ce72e42db8b09eb6aab381358.pdf
  5. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jul/22/purvi-patel-abortion-sentence-reduced
  6. https://www.nirhealth.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Massachusetts-White-Paper.pdf
  7. https://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/05/nyregion/05abortion.html
  8. https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/05/virginia-woman-given-a-jail-sentence-for-concealing-a-dead-body-after-her-stillbirth.html
  9. https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=150312812


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#StopProsecutingAbortion

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Taking a Stand

Trending Conversations

Jun. 23

People should not be forced to endure dehumanizing and unsanitary conditions because they are poor. Sign up for our next webinar, Diaper Banks and Menstrual Product Banks: Hygiene Is A Reproductive Justice Issue, Thurs., 6/27 @ 7PM ET. https://reproaction.org/resource/diaper-banks-and-menstrual-product-banks-hygiene-is-a-reproductive-justice-issue/

Jun. 22

Reproaction Protests the 2019 Susan B. Anthony List Gala “This year, we held the group accountable for its supporters’ statements by calling out the role they have played in the increased criminalization of abortion.” #StopProsecutingAbortion https://reproaction.org/reproaction-protests-the-2019-susan-b-anthony-list-gala/

Jun. 22

Meghan McCain and How The Anti-Abortion Far Right Cloaks Patriarchy with White Women’s Voices https://reproaction.org/meghan-mccain-and-how-the-anti-abortion-far-right-cloaks-patriarchy-with-white-womens-voices/

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Blog

| Reproaction

Reproaction Protests the 2019 Susan B. Anthony List Gala

Over 20 activists attended our action, and several people walking by also joined in and stopped to take photos with our Stop Prosecuting Abortion signs to show their support. We even had volunteers who brought a maraca and a drum to help drown out the ‘pro-life’ hypocrisy.

Press Coverage

| Erin Matson | Reproaction

Reproaction Hosts Press Conference Discussing Virginia’s Anti-Abortion Activity

Reproaction co-founder and co-director Erin Matson hosted speakers Tarina Keene, executive director NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, and Sharon Kann, reproductive rights director for Media Matters for America on a call-in press conference to discuss Virginia’s anti-abortion activity including anti-abortion zealotry leading to suspicion and punishment of women for a variety of pregnancy outcomes, including miscarriage; as well as the pitiful state of abortion access today, the rampant pro-life harassment occurring against abortion providers, people who have abortion, and policymakers who support them, and Reproaction’s demand to stop prosecuting self-managed abortion in the United States.

Press Coverage

| Pamela Merritt | Reproaction

Reproaction Hosts Press Conference Discussing Missouri’s Regressive Abortion Laws

Reproaction co-founder and co-director Pamela Merritt hosted speakers Indra Lusero, staff attorney for National Advocates for Pregnant Women, Missouri State Representative Stacey Newman, and a Gateway Women’s Access Fund board member on a call-in press conference to discuss Missouri’s limited access to abortion, the state’s history of policing and incarcerating women, and the Supreme Court now having a 5-4 anti-abortion majority poised to strike down or gut Roe v. Wade and how it puts women at risk.

Op-Ed

| Erin Matson | Ms. Magazine Blog

Stop Prosecuting Abortion!

Our Stop Prosecuting Abortion campaign discusses the real-life consequences of punishing women for pregnancy outcomes, and backs it up with innovative actions to help this country change course.

Blog

| Reproaction

Reproaction Kicks Off Stop Prosecuting Abortion Campaign

In a time when, across many states, women are already being sent to jail for self-managing their own abortions we are excited to be spearheading a movement that is not afraid to stand up to the hypocritical pro-life movement and demand anti-abortion lawmakers put down the handcuffs and stop putting women in jail.

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