Stop Prosecuting Abortion


The logical consequence of abortion bans is sending people to jail. The ‘pro-life’ movement has worked for decades to overturn Roe v. Wade and continues to try to make abortion illegal nationwide. [1] This has particular urgency today with more anti-abortion lawmakers trying to criminalize or even sentence people to death for having abortions. [2-3]

‘Pro-life’ leaders paint people who have abortions as being pressured by the “abortion industry” [3-6] and want to punish abortion providers for providing necessary health care. But, what have they said in cases where women are both the patient and the abortion provider?

In a gross violation of their human rights, people 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 even before Roe fell, women were already being sent to jail for self-managing their own abortions in many states [7].

In Indiana, Purvi Patel was sentenced to 20 years in prison for self-managing her own abortion in 2015 [8]. While her sentence was eventually reduced, Patel is not alone, and she should have never faced this indignity. No one should, yet there have been cases all over the country that punish women for pregnancy outcomes [9-12]. This was happening while abortion was still technically legal, and now we are seeing what anti-abortion advocates wanted all along: jailing or even suggestions to kill people for having abortions. Though some segments of the ‘pro-life’ movement still try to deny this is their goal, we decided to ask them, and the results are disturbing.

You can see for yourself by watching our videos showcasing what ‘pro-life’ leaders, followers, and legislators have to say about criminalizing people who have abortions. Their responses are telling and their actions (or lack thereof) speak volumes.

It’s time to stop putting people in jail for abortion. 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.




Campaign Coverage


No, Students for Life. Abortion Does Not Cause Pollution. Please Stop Lying.

Decades of corporate greed have caused real, verifiable harm to the environment; attempting to shift the blame from the negligent corporations responsible for this damage to individuals and prescribers makes it clear that Students for Life’s concern isn’t the environment, but their own violent agenda.

| Erin Matson | The Washington Post

The Anti-Abortion Movement is Working to Criminalize Abortion Pills

It’s especially notable that Ms. Hawkins’s own national spokesperson and senior ambassador Autumn Higashi said on video, “If a woman kills a child outside the womb, then I think that she should be prosecuted for that. So, if a woman kills a child inside the womb, then I don’t think that there’s any difference.”

| Erin Matson | The Virginian Pilot

Fight for Access to Reproductive Care Heats Up

The logical consequence of banning abortion is and always has been sending people to jail for pregnancy outcomes, including but not limited to self-managed abortions taking place outside of medical settings. Poor people and women of color will be targeted most.

| 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.

| 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.

| 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.

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