( Otherwords.org) – Anti-choice states already have the highest maternal mortality and infant mortality rates. Women who choose to avoid pregnancy could instead face execution. By Mitchell Zimmerman | May 11, 2022
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.”