State Lawmakers are Putting Women’s Lives on the Line

Make no mistake: War is being waged on Roe v. Wade and our fundamental rights. Anti-abortion lawmakers and organizations are no longer only chipping away at reproductive rights—they’ve launched an all-out assault on abortion rights in statehouses across the country.

(Beth Wilson / Creative Commons)

Going against the majority of Americans who support access to abortion, they have one goal: criminalize abortion and punish women. These bills have a level of Trumpian cruelty to them that is relatively new and all the more terrifying.

The vast majority of Americans support access to legal abortion, but anti-abortion activists are still proudly parading their support for extreme bills. Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser even tweeted her texts with Ohio Governor Mike DeWine before and after he signed his state’s newest extreme ban on abortion.

This week, legislators in Texas introduced a bill that directly threatens women with capital punishment for having an abortion. This so-called “pro-life” bill reflects a new level of severity and demonstrates that anti-abortion lawmakers will toss aside women’s rights and lives without the blink of an eye in pursuit of their out-of-touch ideology.

Last week, politicians in Alabama introduced a bill that is effectively a total abortion ban, criminalizing and banning the procedure at any stage of pregnancy. Their end goal couldn’t be any clearer. The bill’s author said it plainly on the record: “it’s very simple, it simply criminalizes abortion.”

All of these new measures come on the heels of recently passed bills that would effectively outlaw abortion in MississippiKentuckyGeorgia and Ohio—along with pending bills in Missouri, Tennessee, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, South Carolina and West Virginia. (And this doesn’t even include other medically unnecessary restrictions that impede a woman’s right to make her own healthcare decisions.)

When you criminalize abortion, women’s lives are on the line. Gutting Roe means we go back to a reality where abortion is illegal in our country. History shows us that when abortion is criminalized, the number of abortions does not go down—but the number of deaths and injuries to women does go up.

With bills criminalizing abortion and punishing women being openly pushed in statehouses nationwide, the true colors of the anti-abortion movement are laid bare for us all to see.

These lawmakers and organizations are engaged in a coherent, consistent and intentional strategy aimed at the ultimate goal of criminalizing abortion and punishing women. The collateral damage is the actual lives, health and well-being of women and families.


Amanda Thayer is the Deputy National Communications Director at NARAL Pro-Choice America.