The Open Society Foundations: When Pregnancy Leads to a Prison Term
Date:  07-02-2015

Women who abort spontaneously or through clinical procedures have been incarcerated
The Open Society Foundations, June 25, 2015:

“For decades, anti-abortion leaders and organizations in the United States have claimed that their goal is to protect pregnant women, not punish them. But recent arrests—and in some cases, convictions—suggest otherwise.

Peer-reviewed research that I coauthored with Jeanne Flavin, PhD, a Fordham University professor of sociology and president of the National Advocates for Pregnant Women’s board of directors, definitively establishes that hundreds of laws designed to prevent women from accessing abortion services—as well as other measures, such as feticide laws, promoted by anti-abortion organizations—are being used to justify the arrests of pregnant women.

The arrests documented in the study (from 1973 to 2005) include women who have had or who have attempted to have abortions, women who have experienced miscarriages and stillbirths, women who have gone to term and given birth to healthy babies, and women who have disagreed with doctors’ advice about when, how, and where to give birth. Law enforcement officials have disproportionately targeted low-income women and women of color for these arrests and equivalent deprivations of liberty.

Anti-abortion organizations have particularly claimed that their efforts would not lead to punishment of women who have an abortion. Here, however, are three recent cases in which U.S. states are seeking not to protect but to punish women accused of attempting or having an abortion at home.”

Read the stories of Purvi Patel, Kenlissia Jones and Ann Bynum here.