Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Ron Wright (R-TX) released a false statement to The Texan responding to a video Reproaction released showing him saying that women should “absolutely” be punished for having abortions. In the statement he said, “my remarks were directed to those who perform abortions. Those who perform abortions should be held responsible.” Further, The Texan piece sharing his response gives an impression that Reproaction did not accurately characterize the conversation depicted; this is inaccurate.
In response, Reproaction co-founder and co-director Erin Matson released the following statement:
Congressman Wright is lying. When he spoke with us, he plainly endorsed sending women to jail for abortion. This conversation occurred immediately following an outdoor press conference at the Capitol in support of H.R. 962, a cruel message bill with inflammatory rhetoric that threatens abortion providers with up to five years imprisonment.
The logical consequence of abortion bans is sending women to jail. While people are rightfully asking questions about the criminal implications of radical abortion bans sweeping states like Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, and Utah, it’s important to note that people have already been going to jail for self-managing their abortions within the United States. Our Stop Prosecuting Abortion campaign exists to demand that public officials of all sides demand an end to prosecuting abortion; instead, Congressman Wright endorsed it.
Access to abortion is a good thing to be proud of; it is critical to equality and justice for all people. Criminalizing abortion is an infringement of basic human rights. No one should go to jail for ending a pregnancy – patients, providers, and patients who serve as their own providers. One in four women in this country have abortions. They are not criminals.