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Friday, May 20, 2022

The GOP’s ‘Pro-Life’ Victory Will Mean More Dead Mothers

Radical right-wing abortion restrictions will kill women

By Mitchell Zimmerman

Under a Louisiana bill likely to become law when the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, a woman who has an abortion is guilty of first-degree murder. For this, she’ll face the death penalty or — if the prosecutor chooses leniency — life imprisonment and hard labor.

Some Republican abortion foes have called for a federal law along the same lines, criminalizing abortions nationally as homicide.

Most of the new wave of anti-abortion statutes include no exceptions for incest or rape. A 14-year-old girl who does not want to give birth to her father’s child could be imprisoned for 10 or 15 years. So could a mother who refuses to add a rapist’s child to her family.

Under many of the statutes, a human egg is defined as an “unborn child” from the moment of fertilization, even before the egg has become implanted in the womb. Criminal penalties therefore apply no matter how early a woman seeks to terminate a pregnancy.

A pregnant person could be charged with the “murder” of what doctors call a “blastocyte,” the stage an egg reaches around the sixth day after fertilization. Anti-abortion laws define this microscopic entity — less than one hundredth of an inch long — as an “unborn child.”

An estimated one fourth of American women have had or will in the course of their lives have an abortion. On this basis, “pro-life” legislators are calling these 34 million women and girls murderers — and possibly subjecting them to steep prison terms or execution. . . Mitchell Zimmerman

Mitchell Zimmerman is an attorney, longtime social activist, and author of the anti-racism thriller Mississippi Reckoning. This op-ed was distributed by

What they're saying about my anti-racism thriller Mississippi Reckoning: L A Review of Books: “Gripping … revelatory.”  Arkansas Democrat-Gazette: “Powerful.”  Kirkus: “Riveting.”  Freedom Rider Diane Nash: “Enthralling.”  Pulitzer-winner Eric Foner: “Rooted in history.”  Fed. Judge Thelton Henderson: “a heart-pounding, soul-wrenching narrative.”
Find an excerpt at

CLICK HERE to read Progressive Charlestown's review of Mississippi Reckoning.