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What women's lives are like when abortion is a crime

Friday - 06/10/2017 09:04
If Americans want to know what the lives of women are like in a country where abortion and even miscarriage have criminal penalties, they should listen to women in El Salvador, where I have been reporting for a project on women in prison.

Editor's Note: Alice Driver is a freelance journalist and translator whose work focuses on migration, human rights, and gender equality. She is currently based in Mexico City. Driver is the author of "More or Less Dead: Feminicide, Haunting, and the Ethics of Representation in Mexico." The views expressed this commentary are solely the author's.

(CNN) - During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump famously said that there should be "some form of punishment" for abortion. Although he later tried to walk these remarks back, he and his mostly male fellow Republicans have quietly been making headway since he took office on an agenda to make sure women have as few options as possible for reproductive choice and education, including limited access to birth control and the preventative care offered by Planned Parenthood.

This week, the House of Representatives passed the "Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act," a bill criminalizing abortions after 20 weeks. The White House, through a statement of administration policy released on Monday night, backed the measure, meaning President Trump plans to sign it if it passes the Senate. Courts have recently struck down similar bans for violating Roe v. Wade and other rulings about abortion. In 2014, for instance, the Supreme Court declined to hear the case on Arizona's 20-week ban, letting stand a ruling from the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, which said Arizona's law violated multiple Supreme Court rulings, including Roe v. Wade.
In July, the Trump administration proposed a cut of $213.6 million from teen pregnancy prevention programs and research, even though those programs have been proven to decrease unwanted pregnancies and abortion.

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 Key: abortion

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