Legislation

Joint letter from more than 70 leading pro-life organizations: Criminalizing women who have abortions is not pro-life

WASHINGTON – The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of right-to-life affiliates in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, today joined with leaders from more than 70 state, national, and international pro-life organizations in issuing an open letter to the nation’s state legislators urging them to reject legislation and policy initiatives that would impose criminal penalties on women who have abortions.

“There are two victims in every abortion: the unborn child who loses her life, and her mother who is left abandoned by the abortion industry to deal with any physical complications, as well as the emotional and psychological pain of the abortion trauma for months or even years to come,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “This joint letter recognizes that women who have abortions require our compassion and support, not criminalization.”

In their joint letter, the organizations stated:

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 any measure seeking to criminalize or punish women is not pro-life and we stand firmly opposed to such efforts.

If the Supreme Court does overturn Roe v. Wade, they will be honoring the unambiguous division of powers described in the Constitution, returning abortion policymaking back to our elected state and federal legislators. This will be a tremendous opportunity for states to create durable policy that can stand the test of time. But in seizing that opportunity, we must ensure that the laws we advance to protect unborn children do not harm their mothers.

We are America’s leading advocates for life. We come from very different backgrounds and perspectives, but we are united in our mission to protect unborn children and American women from the greed of the abortion industry. We have been in this fight for decades – many of us have dedicated our lives to this cause. We understand better than anyone else the desire to punish the purveyors of abortion who act callously and without regard to the dignity of human life. But turning women who have abortions into criminals is not the way.

“Today, as a movement, we call on state legislators to act with love and compassion toward women who have abortions and to enact policies that strengthen the life-affirming resources for abortion-vulnerable women in their states,” Tobias added.

The full letter is available here.

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