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Categorizing Women Who Seek Abortions as Criminals is not Pro-Woman

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Each year on a bitter cold and somber day in our Nation’s Capital, the March for Life leads throngs of passionate pro-life Americans up Capitol Hill and to the Supreme Court. The site is where the March for Life began - in 1973, the Court issued its Roe v Wade and Doe v Bolton decisions, legalizing abortion on demand in the United States. We have been marching and working towards a reversal and a culture of life ever since.

When the mostly millennial crowd makes it to the Supreme Court at the conclusion of the March for Life – this past year as a historic blizzard was beginning – they come to witness the moving and heart-rending stories of women who regret their abortions. These women bravely share about the pain, heartbreak, emotional, mental, and even physical suffering from one or more abortions. They are a small sample of the millions of women who suffer in silence from the pain of abortion.

Women who have had abortions need love, compassion and healing. They do not need punishment, contrary to the ill-informed comments of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Those who know the pro-life movement understand that being pro-life means wanting what is best for the mother and the baby, and categorizing women who seek abortions as criminals is not pro-woman.

Women who choose abortion often do so in desperation, and then deeply regret such a decision. Tragically, the abortion industry preys upon women in vulnerable situations facing unplanned pregnancies. Case in point, Planned Parenthood, which makes millions on abortions every year, and concentrates its business in low-income and minority neighborhoods. The pro-life movement, on the other hand, values mother and baby. Pro-life and pro-woman pregnancy centers across the nation serve the needs of expectant mothers, no matter their situation.

Mr. Trump’s confusion and comments are completely out of touch with the spirit of the pro-life movement. Furthermore, the concept of punishing women for abortion is also out of touch with pro-life legislation. Pro-life bills recently considered by Congress hold abortionists responsible for their medical malpractice in terminating an unborn baby’s life, while holding harmless the women on whom an abortion is performed. Similarly, both the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act and Unborn Victims of Violence Act, enacted in the early 2000s, state that nothing in the law would permit the prosecution of a woman with respect to her unborn child.

Our vision at the March for Life is a world where every human life – woman and child – is valued and protected. Along with our allies in the pro-life movement, and countless Americans who volunteer for pro-life causes across the country, we will continue our mission of working towards pro-life legislation that reduces abortion, as well as a culture of life where no woman wants or feels pressured into an abortion.

We hope that we will have a new President in 2017 that believes the same.

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