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AUTHOR: Paul Brown (AServantOfChrist.com)

Several weeks have now passed since the United States Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization resulting in the reversal of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. In the wake of this decision, a number of states have either reverted to pre Roe laws, or have implemented new laws that “ban” abortion to some extent.

Yet, no state has made abortion completely illegal. Far from it, self-induced abortion (which has been growing in popularity for years) is completely legal, and now more prevalent than ever. To be clear, I don’t believe any legislature in the US was intentionally providing carveouts for self-induced abortion when they wrote the laws. In fact, I think they really believed that the laws they were writing would effectively end abortion in their states with the possibility of a few, rare exceptions.

But they were mistaken. More than ever before, self-induced abortions are wildly popular and facilitated by groups like Aid Access, an overseas organization that is dedicated to abortion access worldwide. Aid Access pairs women with doctors in other countries, who have a telemedicine session with the woman by phone or video call, and then mails abortifacients to that woman. Since they are operating outside of the jurisdiction where the abortifacient is received and the abortion is conducted, it is impossible to prosecute anyone on the Aid Access side of the equation. And since every state that restricts abortion in any significant way has granted legal immunity to the mother, there is no one to prosecute within those states, and therefore no existing legal mechanism to police this sort of thing.

The result is that there is currently not equal protection under the law for the preborn anywhere in the United States. Equal Protection would look like this: The same homicide laws that protect you and me from being murdered would cover the preborn in the exact same way, and criminal liability would exist for all parties (including the mother) who choose to participate in that crime.

If we say that human life begins at the moment of fertilization (and it does), then what justification could we possibly give for not providing equal protection?

When you reach heaven...

Pro-abort jokes often acknowledge that abortions kill babies.

 

Before I even get into what self-induced abortions look like or exactly how prevalent they are, I’d like to present the evidence that there is no equal protection for the preborn in any of the 13 states that have “banned” abortion in the wake of the Dobbs decision:

Alabama – Ala. Code § 26-23H-5: “No woman upon whom an abortion is performed or attempted to be performed shall be criminally or civilly liable. Furthermore, no physician confirming the serious health risk to the child’s mother shall be criminally or civilly liable for those actions.”

Arizona – Az. Code § 36-2159-H: “A woman on whom an abortion is performed or induced in violation of this section may not be prosecuted under this section or for conspiracy to commit a violation of this section.”

Arkansas – Ark. Code § 5-61-404-C-1: “This section does not authorize the charging or conviction of a woman with any criminal offense in the death of her own unborn child.”

Kentucky – Ky. Rev. Stat. § 311.772-5: “Nothing in this section may be construed to subject the pregnant mother upon whom any abortion is performed or attempted to any criminal conviction and penalty.”

Louisiana – LA Rev Stat § 40:1061-H: “Nothing in this Section may be construed to subject the pregnant mother upon whom any abortion is performed or attempted to any criminal conviction and penalty.”

Mississippi – MS Code § 41-41-45-4: “Any person, except the pregnant woman, who purposefully, knowingly or recklessly performs or attempts to perform or induce an abortion in the State of Mississippi, except in the case where necessary for the preservation of the mother’s life or where the pregnancy was caused by rape, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections for not less than one (1) year nor more than ten (10) years.”

Missouri – MO Code §188.017-2: “Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, no abortion shall be performed or induced upon a woman, except in cases of medical emergency. Any person who knowingly performs or induces an abortion of an unborn child in violation of this subsection shall be guilty of a class B felony, as well as subject to suspension or revocation of his or her professional license by his or her professional licensing board. A woman upon whom an abortion is performed or induced in violation of this subsection shall not be prosecuted for a conspiracy to violate the provisions of this subsection.”

Oklahoma – Okla. Stat. tit. 63 § 1-731.4-3-A: “This section does not authorize the charging or conviction of a woman with any criminal offense in the death of her own unborn child.”

South Dakota – South Dakota’s laws are a little less straight-forward, but the result is the same. The law effectively “banning” abortion in South Dakota is SD Code § 22-17-5.1, which doesn’t specifically give immunity to the mother, but is written in a way that would imply that the prosecutable parties are other individuals who conduct or procure the abortion. Furthermore, specific immunity is given to the mother under other sections of the code including SD Code § 34-23A-31, SD Code § 34-23A-69, and SD Code § 34-23A-90.

Texas – Texas House Bill 1280 goes into effect 30 days after the issuance of the Supreme Court Ruling that reverses Roe v. Wade – Section 170A.003 says, “This chapter may
not be construed to authorize the imposition of criminal, civil, or administrative liability or penalties on a pregnant female on whom an abortion is performed, induced, or attempted.” Like South Dakota and several other states, there are laws on the books that predate Roe v. Wade, which are now back in effect, but do not allow for the prosecution of the woman.

Utah – UT Code § 76-7-314.5.2:
“A woman is not criminally liable for:
(a) seeking to obtain, or obtaining, an abortion that is permitted by this part; or
(b) a physician’s failure to comply with Subsection 76-7-302(3)(b)(ii) or Section 76-7-305.”

West Virginia – WV Code §16-2O-1-4: “No penalty may be assessed against any patient upon whom an abortion is performed or induced or attempted to be performed or induced.”

Wisconsin – Wis. Code § 940.04:
“(1)  Any person, other than the mother, who intentionally destroys the life of an unborn child is guilty of a Class H felony.
(2) Any person, other than the mother, who does either of the following is guilty of a Class E felony:
(a) Intentionally destroys the life of an unborn quick child; or
(b) Causes the death of the mother by an act done with intent to destroy the life of an unborn child. It is unnecessary to prove that the fetus was alive when the act so causing the mother’s death was committed.”

It is abundantly clear that no state condones, pursues, or even allows women to be prosecuted for choosing to take the life of their own child, as long as that child is in the womb.

Equal Protection for the Preborn has not been achieved. Not even close.

Everyone Knows

Many Women are NOT Ashamed of Their Abortions

 

At this point you may be wondering what the impact of this is. How often do self-induced abortions occur?

Given that SCOTUS issued the Dobbs opinion less than a month prior to the time I’m writing this, we don’t yet have real time data that can conclusively answer that question, but I will make the case that we can use pre-existing data that shows trends due to previous abortion restrictions. Take my home state, Texas, for example.

On March 22, 2020 Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order prohibiting abortions that were not “medically necessary” for 30 days (until April 21, 2020). This was in response to the Coronavirus Pandemic. Some abortion centers chose to ignore the order, while others continued to operate.

As expected, there was a decrease in the total number of abortions conducted at abortion centers in Texas during that time period, and a study published in the JAMA Network (Journal of the American Medical Association) studied these numbers as well as the number of women who traveled out of state for abortions, and ordered abortion pills online.

Notably, the study indicated that from February to May 2020 there were 16,349 abortions as compared to 18,268 abortions during the same months in 2019, representing a decrease of 1,919 abortions. At first glance, this data would appear to indicate that the 30-day moratorium on abortions had a substantive impact, but unfortunately there’s more to it than meets the eye. The same study also indicated that during the same time period, 947 Texas women traveled out of state to get abortions, and another 787 ordered abortifacients from Aid Access, an overseas provider. In all likelihood, women ordered abortifacients from other providers during that same time, but I’ve been unable to find additional data that shows that. Either way, it’s clear that between Aid Access and out-of-state abortions, there were at least 1,734 abortions amongst Texas women during those 30 days.

I wrote on this more extensively in September 2021 to make this point: There was no substantive drop in the number of abortions during that time period. What changed was simply the how and the where.

I wrote the September piece because the Texas Heartbeat Act had just gone into effect at the beginning of the month, and many Texas pro-life groups were pushing the narrative that the act would almost completely end abortion in Texas, with predicted reductions of 80-90%. Indeed, days after the act went into effect local pro life groups across Dallas were reporting that abortion centers had closed, when this simply was not the case. Indeed, within just a few months it became clear that the number of abortions taking place at abortion centers had fallen by around 50%, not the 90% that had been predicted.

I did not doubt that there would be some reduction in abortions at the abortion centers. What I wanted to point out is that I believed a large percentage of those abortions no longer taking place at those abortion centers would likely still occur through other means (traveling out of state and ordering abortion pills online).

At that point it was just a theory, but over time more data came in, and in February 2022 the JAMA Network produced another study indicating that from September 1, 2021 (when the Heartbeat Act went into effect) and December 31, 2021 there were around 1,136 abortion pills ordered each month on average from Aid Access by Texas women.

Another study by the Texas Policy Evaluation Project indicated that in the same time period nearly 1,400 Texas women traveled out of state each month to get abortions.

Between Aid Access and out-of-state abortions, there was an average of at least 2,500 abortions taking place each month outside of Texas abortion centers for Texas women.

In 2020 Texas Health and Human Services recorded 55,175 abortions in Texas facilities, and 50,532 in 2021. If you add up the extra 2,500 per months that took place from other means, it actually pushes the total from 2021 up to around 60,000. For context, Texas abortions haven’t topped 60,000 since 2013.

To be fair, I’ve spoken with someone in the pro life movement who is more supportive of the Texas Heartbeat Act, and he takes issue with the the Aid Access data. Technically, the study describes each order as a “request,” and doesn’t specify if it was delivered or not. Furthermore, even for those abortifacients that were delivered, we also do not know if they were used or not.

I’m seeking further data, and if I get it I will share it, but in the meantime there are three points I’d like to make:

  1. It is certain that some percentage of those requests resulted in deliveries and usages, and it’s clear that this is something that is happening, even if we don’t know all of the exact numbers around it.
  2. Aid Access is not the only provider of abortifacients by mail, so it’s also plausible that there are other organizations doing the same thing, for which we do not have numbers, but that would also mean higher numbers.
  3. Even if we removed abortifacients-by-mail entirely from the equation, the number of abortions conducted on Texas women out of state is still high enough to push 2021 to a busier abortion year than 2020.

Why do I say all this? Am I just a negative guy who can’t be pleased? Who will complain no matter what?

No. There is a simple truth here. Despite the Roe reversal, abortion is still legal in all 50 states. Despite the abortion restrictions in Texas, the data we have suggests that there will continue to be tens of thousands of legal abortions in Texas each year.

This is not ok. I am not celebrating. I am grateful that the evil, wrong Roe decision is no longer here, but I do not see this as the victory that many others do. We have to wake up and confront the truth, no matter how ugly that truth is.

At this point I’ve received plenty of suggestions about how we ought to close these loopholes. Some people think we need to try to do more to restrict the sale of abortifacients without any penalties for the mothers. The reason this won’t work is obvious – we can already see that those same kinds of restrictions are in place and they’re not working.

Some suggest very light repercussions for the mothers, like community service and/or counseling.

At the end of the day, if we say human life begins at the moment of fertilization (and it does), then the intentional destruction of that life (abortion) is murder. So what’s the material difference between abortion and murder today? The law.

The law does not treat abortion like murder, and look at the result: There are around 25,000 homicides in the US each year, and as many as 1 million abortions. Why the big gap? Because murder will get you a life sentence and in rare cases an execution.

Abortion gets you…. nothing. If you’re a mother and you choose to kill your child in the womb, no jurisdiction in the United States says you have done anything wrong. The law is a teacher. It’s true that the law has been lying to women for the last 50 years, but that’s no excuse to keep on doing the same thing. Until we tell women (and men) that abortion is murder, and reenforce that truth with the law, we shouldn’t expect significant change in the culture of abortion in our nation. The implication of everything I’ve said here is this:

If you don’t support Equal Protection under the law for the preborn, then you’re not pro life. You’re pro choice.

Some folks will read that and get offended. Where does this guy get off…

But hear me out. Anything less than laws of equal protection will allow legal abortions to take place. If you support that, you support giving the woman a choice, as long as the abortion takes place under certain conditions. This is an unavoidable truth.

Only equal protection upholds the sanctity of life in reflection of these important Biblical truths:

Genesis 1:27 – So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Genesis 9:6 – Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.

Exodus 20:13 – You shall not murder.

Proverbs 24:11-12 – Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?

Ultimately abortion is wrong because all humans are made in the image of God, and babies in the womb are human beings. God not only tells us we should not destroy them, but that we should rescue them.

If you’re reading this, and you generally agree in principle but are feeling a bit squeamish about prosecuting women, you might resonate with the question, “Where is the love?”

Being permissive about grave sin is not love. Let me ask another question: Where is the love for the preborn? If we don’t give them equal protection, how is that love? How?

Another question you might ask is, “What are the unintended consequences of treating abortion like homicide?”

I would ask a similar question: What are the unintended consequences of NOT treating abortion like homicide. And it’s a question for which I already know the answer: The unintended consequences of not treating abortion like homicide in Texas is tens of thousands of legal abortions each year.

Do you want to love your preborn neighbors? Start by not killing them. Start by treating their wanton destruction like murder. Start by offering them equal protection.

If you’re reading this and you’re ready to help provide equal protection for the preborn, there are a couple of things you can do:

  1. Contact your legislators (State and National) and tell them to support equal protection for the preborn. Be sure to spell out that this includes treating it like homicide for all involved parties, including the mother.
  2. Navigate on over to websites like https://abolishabortiontx.org/ and https://faa.life/ where you can learn more, and get more involved.
  3. Feel free to contact me and ask me for more information.
  4. Pray. Always pray. Pray for repentance, and reformation, and awakening, and the end of abortion in our land.

The preborn have no voice of their own. Will you be their voice?

See original article for citations.

What is the Second-Victim Narrative?

The Pro-Life Second Victim narrative portrays the woman who seeks an abortion as the second victim of abortion along with her baby. It claims that women are ignorant of what they are doing or that they are nearly all forced, coerced, or pressured into the decision, and therefore, they are not truly guilty parties in the act of killing their children.

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#NotAVictim is debunking this narrative BECAUSE

  • It is false (stick with us, join our email list below and let us show you)
  • It is a major obstacle to establishing laws of equal protection for preborn babies
  • It is a barrier to the GOSPEL message which must call sin, sin. The Gospel calls on all women and men to repent and turn away from their sin and be cleansed from their guilt by trusting in Jesus Christ alone for their salvation. Jesus said, "I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish."—Luke 13:3

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Not a Victim FAQs

    • Don’t most women believe it’s just a clump of cells?
    • Isn’t abortion ALWAYS a hard choice for women?
    • Are you saying women actually enjoy abortion?