USA – How to Protect Yourself When Seeking an Abortion. Learn your legal risks.

Bindu Bansinath and Katie Heaney
May 23, 2022

The illusion that anti-abortion lawmakers wouldn’t try to criminalize abortion
seekers was shattered this year with the introduction of a Louisiana bill that
would have allowed prosecutors to bring murder charges against them (the bill
was revamped and that section was dropped). Though most abortion restrictions
don’t explicitly penalize pregnant people, Dana Sussman, acting executive
director of the National Advocates for Pregnant Women, says the organization
has documented “over 1,700 cases from 1973 to 2020 that criminalize pregnant
people” for a number of reasons, from self-managed abortion to stillbirth to
suspected drug use. Prosecutors have also used feticide and child abuse or
neglect statutes to charge women who ended their pregnancies. In 2015, Purvi
Patel was tried on both those counts in Indiana and sentenced to 20 years in
prison after allegedly self-managing her abortion (her conviction was
eventually overturned).