If abortion is made illegal, how much time will a woman serve?
Across the country, anti-choice legislators have passed more than 1,000 laws that shame, pressure, punish – even criminalize – women who have decided to have an abortion.
In an attempt to educate the public about the Republican National Committee (RNC) platform’s implications for women who have abortions, the National Institute for Reproductive Health launched an aggressive, multi-platform advocacy campaign asking a critical question that anti-abortion activists have refused to reckon with: “If abortion is made illegal, how much time will a woman serve?”
The RNC Platform
This concerted, decades-long effort to push abortion completely out of reach for many women is embodied in the Republican National Committee (RNC) platform’s position on abortion. Since 1984, the RNC platform has called for a human life amendment to the Constitution, coupled with its long-standing endorsement of the panoply of anti-abortion policies that have been passed in states across the country.
The 2016 platform continues that trend by stating:
Faithful to the “self-evident” truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.
What does that mean?
A human life amendment that establishes the fetus as a “person” under the Fourteenth Amendment could ultimately result in Roe v. Wade (Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, 156-57) being reversed, and could grant fetuses a constitutional right to life, which the government would be obligated to respect.
A human life amendment, if adopted, could make abortion illegal — and both the woman having an abortion and the doctor providing one could be subject to prosecution.
How Much Time? Campaign
The anti-choice movement has tried to hide the cruel reality that banning abortion would effectively turn millions of women and their health care providers into criminals.
The How Much Time? campaign is a multi-platform advocacy campaign asking a critical question that anti-abortion activists have refused to reckon with: “If abortion is made illegal, how much time will a woman serve?” RNC attendees and the general public were met with six billboards across Cleveland, while print and digital ads were rolled out in top national and regional news outlets and social media platforms.
Criminalization: A Growing Trend
Sending women to jail for ending their pregnancies is not hypothetical or hyperbole. Here are the facts:
- In total, since 2004, at least 17 people have been arrested or convicted in connection with alleged self-induced abortion.
- Just in the past two years, several women in the U.S. have been charged with murder or sentenced to prison after trying to end their own pregnancies.
- This year, Oklahoma legislators passed a law that makes providing abortion a homicide and would subject doctors providing abortion to felony charges.
It’s up to all of us to spread the word about the real-life consequences of the extremism embodied for decades in the RNC platforms and enacted into law by scores of state legislatures.
- Sign the Pledge: