A coalition of pro-life organizations led by the National Right to Life Committee has released an open letter urging legislators “to reject any measure that seeks to criminalize women who have abortions.” Secular Pro-Life is one of the signatories.
Citing various studies showing that abortion can have a negative impact on mothers’ mental health, the letter states:
Women are victims of abortion and require our compassion and support as well as ready access to counseling and social services in the days, weeks, months, and years following an abortion. As national and state pro-life organizations, representing tens of millions of pro-life men, women, and children across the country, let us be clear: We state unequivocally that we do not support any measure seeking to criminalize or punish women and we stand firmly opposed to include such penalties in legislation.
This is not to say that every woman who seeks an abortion is a victim. Some are not. Some, fully informed about the humanity of their unborn children and the availability of non-violent alternatives to abortion, nevertheless kill without remorse.
On the other end of the spectrum are undisputed victims, such as teen girls forced into abortion by abusive adults. The middle is vast, encompassing economic coercion, medical misinformation from abortion clinic “counselors,” and pressure from unsupportive fathers — all against a cultural backdrop that, for five decades, has dehumanized babies and trumpeted abortion as a “woman’s right to choose.”
In our view, victimhood scenarios are common enough that non-criminalization of mothers is the wisest policy. Our resources are finite. They are better spent prosecuting the abortionists, who know exactly what they are doing, are motivated by profit, and destroy lives on a massive scale. They are better spent addressing the root causes of unplanned pregnancy. They are better spent increasing support for pregnancy resource centers. And they are better spent making as much headway as possible in blue states, so that babies are not condemned to death by the bad luck of where they were conceived.
[Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons]