“Our position should be based on compassion and reason,” read one leaked email memo drafted Tuesday by the Republican National Senate Committee, the party’s campaign arm. “Republicans DO NOT want to throw doctors and women in jail. Mothers should be held harmless under the law.
But in Texas, anyone who performs, causes or attempts an abortion where “an unborn child dies as a result of the offence” is guilty of a first-degree felony – punishable by life in prison and a fine. up to $10,000 – under state trigger ban.
In Alabama, anyone who performs an abortion, provides abortion pills, or “aids, abets, or prescribes the same,” faces up to 12 months in jail or hard labor and a fine of up to $1,000. under the pre-deer to prohibit.
And in South Carolina, a person who terminates a pregnancy with a pill or by other means faces up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $1,000. under state law.
The bills in motion in some states go even further. Legislation in Louisiana that classify abortions as homicides and extending legal personality to fertilized eggs was rejected by the committee on Wednesday. Homicide is punishable in the state by the death penalty or life without the possibility of parole.
Activists, medical groups and legal experts are also warning that these laws and penalties can extend beyond people who abort their pregnancies – to charges against people who miscarry and stillbirth, use drugs during pregnancy, use in vitro fertilization, use emergency contraception or have an intrauterine device implanted.
Even where laws do not explicitly call for criminal prosecution of patients or providers, some local prosecutors are taking matters into their own hands. People have been arrested and jailed for terminating a pregnancy in states as diverse as California, Texas, Georgia and Indiana — a trend that legal groups expect to increase exponentially if the Supreme Court adopts the draft opinion.
And while some states — like Idaho, Missouri and Kentucky — have legal language saying people who have abortions can’t be charged, those patients could be forced to testify against their doctors or romantic partners who helped them access the procedure.
“Even if a bill does not allow pregnant women to be charged directly, we are concerned about how increased surveillance could lead to the criminalization of people for abortion or other type of pregnancy loss,” Farah Diaz-Tello, the lead attorney. and chief legal officer of the If/When/How group, told POLITICO. “These bills create an environment where private information about a person’s health, affect and behavior and if upset enough, could all become evidence in a case against someone else. They could still be treated as suspects.