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Pro-Life demonstration in Washington
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In the back alley
Not to be confused with consistent life ethic. For the Idaho perennial candidate with the name "Pro-Life", see Marvin Richardson.
…[they] believe that life begins at conception and ends at birth
Barney Frank, speaking of anti-abortion legislators[1]
We're conservatives, and the one way we don't like to kill things is that way!
—Stan Smith, American Dad![2]
We command all satanic pregnancies to miscarry right now!
—Paula White, pro-life spiritual adviser to President Trump[3][4][5]
These people aren't pro-life, they're killing doctors! What kind of pro-life is that? What, they'll do anything they can to save a fetus but if it grows up to be a doctor they just might have to kill it? They're not pro-life. You know what they are? They're anti-woman. Simple as it gets, anti-woman. They don't like them. They don't like women. They believe a woman's primary role is to function as a brood mare for the state.
George Carlin, in his opening bit from his 1996 HBO special Back in Town

Pro-life is a marketing euphemism to avoid having to say "anti", as in anti-abortion;[6] it is a political neologism and emotionally loaded term used to define people who are allegedly in favor of 'protecting the life of every human fetus and embryo' regardless of the consequences, and are thus opposed to abortion and seek to discourage, restrict, obstruct, and/or outlaw its practice. Ironically, some 'pro-life' supporters are also pro-death penalty.[7][8] Some jurisdictions get so strict about this that giving stillbirth or miscarriage is considered murder.[9][10][11] The more common and neutral term anti-abortion and the political/feminist terms anti-choice and forced birth are also in use. The pro-life platform often extends to opposing embryonic stem cell research, assisted suicide or euthanasia, and in some cases artificial birth control. Its adherents' tactics range from the benign (e.g., prayers in church or fliers) to the aggressive (e.g., heckling patients walking into clinics, using the legislature to push their agendas, vandalizing clinics) to the deceptive (e.g., setting up crisis pregnancy centers, showing unwanted graphic pictures of inaccurately labeled or doctored photos, sneaking into Planned Parenthood as "undercover" and then fabricating/distorting evidence of wrongdoing) to outright terrorism (e.g., Eric Rudolph bombings, the assassination of George Tiller, and killing doctors).Wikipedia

Pro-life propaganda by the French political party "Nouvelle Action Française". In English its translation is Abortionists Murderers! The Republic kills.

Origin of the term[edit]

Because being "pro-life" is now largely considered a politically conservative stance, it tends to have a high correlation with support for war, gun nuttery, and capital punishment (i.e., killing may be, at times, approved of as a method of defending the lives of innocent persons) and with opposition to euthanasia, welfare programs (such as food stamps), and potentially life-saving stem cell research. Hence the trenchant pro-choice assertion that pro-lifers' defense of life begins at conception, ends at birth, and starts again at brain death. However, even this may be an exaggeration of their concern for life, as "Pro-lifers" also generally oppose universal access to quality, affordable healthcare, including universal pre-natal and maternity care, most often with the reasoning that such government programs are unnecessarily costly and inefficient, whereas private sector efforts are able to help more people with significantly less cost. In other words, they have a firm belief in the free market[note 1] and minimal government.

This was originally not the case. The origin of the "pro-life" movement was in the Roman Catholic left during the Vietnam War among Catholic social justice activists, who were opposed to the war, capital punishment, and abortion alike. Those who hold this particular combination today now use the term consistent life ethic. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term "pro-life" was first introduced to modern language in 1960 by A. S. Neill in his book Summerhill: A Radical Approach to Childrearing: "no pro-life citizen would tolerate our penal code, our hangings, our punishments of homosexuals, our attitude towards bastardy."[12][13]

Post-Roe v. Wade (1973-2022)[edit]

In the United States, after the Roe v. Wade decision by the Supreme Court in 1973, the largely Protestant religious right latched onto abortion as a holy crusade and made it a core part of conservative politics, conveniently forgetting the other issues. Mostly their opposition to abortion seems to stem from them seeing it as part of a feminist plot to empower women with control over their own reproductive rights, and with the sexual revolution more generally. Jerry Falwell and his Moral Majority played a big role in making abortion a moral panic among conservatives and evangelical Christians starting in the late 1970s and 1980s. Today, being anti-abortion is almost a given among members of evangelical megachurches, with dissenting views on abortion met with accusations of near-heresy. It is used as a wedge issue (or a single-issue litmus test) to convince many who otherwise hold liberal, moderate, or libertarian politics, to vote Republican.[14] Anti-abortion politicians have spent the last two decades trying to find ways to "fight the holy war" with a variety of new tactics from bills attached to health care reform to revised (read: impossible to do) building codes.

The anti-abortion movement and U.S. racial dynamics[edit]

In recent years, anti-abortion activist groups in the United States have turned their attention to African-American women. In 2011, one such group chose February – Black History Month – for a billboard campaign announcing that "Black children are an endangered species."[15] A spokesperson for a Texas-based anti-abortion group which ran a billboard campaign featuring a young black boy and the caption "The most dangerous place for some children is in the womb" said that "the overwhelming majority of abortion facilities are in minority neighborhoods", and that the people living in those neighbourhoods needed to be informed of the alleged effects of abortion.[16] Also in 2011, anti-abortion activists covered the south side of Chicago with billboards featuring the likeness of Barack Obama, with the slogan "Every 21 minutes, our next possible leader is aborted."[17]

Anti-abortion activists often bolster this "abortion=racism" stance by citing Margaret Sanger's admittedly problematic (though hardly unusual for her time) support for eugenics. Critics counter that anti-abortion conservatives are cynically employing a genocide conspiracy theory to drive a wedge between two groups of traditionally liberal Democratic voters (African Americans and feminists).

These efforts are reflected by some more radical factions of the African-American activist community. Some black supremacist and black nationalist groups, including the Black Panther Party and the Nation of Islam, have long denounced abortion and contraception as alleged tools of black genocide.

All of this becomes more than a little bit ironic when you consider that there are others who oppose abortion at least in part because they see it as contributing to the "demographic winter" of white people,[18][19][20] And yet other who organize anti-abortion conferences that openly support eugenics (e.g., including Edward Dutton).[21]

Anti-abortion arguments also tend to overlook or to distract from historical discrimination against African Americans, who more likely to be in poverty and thus in need of access to abortions (as many cannot afford to raise a child).

Abortion in philosophy[edit]

In her 1971 paper, philosopher Judith Jarvis Thomson proposed a thought experiment:[22]

You wake up in the morning and find yourself back to back in bed with an unconscious violinist. A famous unconscious violinist. He has been found to have a fatal kidney ailment, and the Society of Music Lovers has canvassed all the available medical records and found that you alone have the right blood type to help. They have therefore kidnapped you, and last night the violinist's circulatory system was plugged into yours, so that your kidneys can be used to extract poisons from his blood as well as your own. The director of the hospital now tells you, "Look, we're sorry the Society of Music Lovers did this to you — we would never have permitted it if we had known. But still, they did it, and the violinist is now plugged into you. To unplug you would be to kill him. But never mind, it's only for nine months. By then he will have recovered from his ailment, and can safely be unplugged from you.

The thought experiment is meant to show that personal autonomy should be more important than saving a life when the two are interconnected. Although this particular thought experiment would seem to support abortion only in the case of rape, Thomson constructed similar thought experiments that broadened the permissibility of abortion in a wide range of scenarios.[23]:60-61 Nonetheless, right-to-life proponents are not very likely to find this line of reasoning convincing.[23]:61

Abortion in religion[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Religion and abortion

The Unitarian Universalist religion strongly supports abortion rights.

Buddhist views differ, but the Dalai Lama said that abortion should be viewed according to each situation. Wiccans similarly have varying views on the issue, with no set precedent.

It seems to be possible to quote mine the Bible to support either side of the argument.[24] (No surprise there perhaps.) But all of the verses referred to seem to require substantial interpretation in order to get the required meaning, and are only of interest to one particular religious group. Evangelicals of the 1950s and 1960s (in contrast to 21st-century ones) often quoted the Bible to argue that life does not begin at conception — mostly as a criticism of the Catholic dogma that ensoulment happened at conception. This view persisted in fairly mainstream evangelical thought until the late 1970s.[25]

Some pro-choice campaigners claim that abortion is mentioned in the Bible, in Numbers 5:11-31. Called "the Adultery Test", the passage is an instruction to priests on how to deal with a woman accused of adultery by feeding her "bitter water", which afflicts her with "the curse". Specifics aren't given in Numbers, but the curse of the "bitter water" is described very clearly as affecting her child-bearing ability. Like most Bible passages, however, there is a catch: translations differ exactly on what this magic potion is supposed to do. In the King James Version (KJV) the relevant passages read:

27And when he hath made her to drink the water, then it shall come to pass, that, if she be defiled, and have done trespass against her husband, that the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall rot: and the woman shall be a curse among her people.[26]

Some translations specifically suggest "miscarriage" in Numbers 5:22. The New International Version, as opposed to the poetic and subtle KJV, suggests it directly:

27If she has made herself impure and been unfaithful to her husband, this will be the result: When she is made to drink the water that brings a curse and causes bitter suffering, it will enter her, her abdomen will swell and her womb will miscarry, and she will become a curse. 28 If, however, the woman has not made herself impure, but is clean, she will be cleared of guilt and will be able to have children.[27]

This sort of translation issue is common throughout holy texts, and is most likely due to the use of a euphemism in the original Hebrew that never really caught on in English.[28] Less literal translations agree that the "thigh" in the literal version is plainly a euphemism for "womb" (so it's not just modern Bible-thumpers who are squeamish about female anatomy) but whether The Curse is an induced miscarriage or just rendering the woman sterile isn't clear from most attempts to get the passage into English. Any crude substance capable of causing sterility, or by the more literal translations causing "genitals to shrink" is likely to induce a miscarriage anyway. Either way, it's Biblical evidence for priests playing very fast and loose with the reproductive cycle, which is hardly "pro-life" as many self-described pro-life proponents claim it to be!

Another verse that somewhat touches on the issue is Exodus 21:22:

27If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.

This suggests that inducing abortion was viewed as only a misdemeanor, though it does not touch upon cases when this was done by the mother or someone else at their instruction, but traditional Jewish interpretation has been that killing is murder only after birth.[29] However, abortion was usually prohibited by reference to Genesis 9:6 ("Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man."), though not as murder, while allowed to save the life of the mother.

Anti-abortion activists, to the contrary, are usually likely to quote Jeremiah 1:5 ("Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee…"), which has overtones of Calvinist predestination,[note 2] and Deuteronomy 30:19 ("…therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live"), which in context is about faith in God and has little to do with abortion.

Abortion and Nazism[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Godwin's Law

Linking abortion and Nazism is a common anti-abortion tactic by comparing the relationship of ideas on what constitutes a human life found in abortion supporters' beliefs and those of the Nazis. One reason the Nazis had no problem murdering millions in cold blood was because they had lowered their expectations on what was considered a human life, therefore removing any moral objection to their killings. In summary, anti-abortion activists consider third party individuals who define living in order to signify that abortion is not murder as followers of this Nazi montage.

Nazi decriminalization of abortion in Poland and Eastern Europe was condemned by the War Crimes Tribunal during the Nuremberg Trials.[30] However, this was explicitly aimed to reduce the population of Slavs, i.e. for racist, genocidal purposes — certainly not reproductive freedom (hence it was condemned as part of the Holocaust).

Some anti-abortion activists also bring up China's controversial one-child policy as a straw man argument, accusing their opponents of secretly supporting forced abortions, because wanting women to have a choice in their reproductive health is totally the same as a government enforcing strict control of child births, right?

Rush Limbaugh[edit]

The conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh coined the term "feminazi," defining it this way:

[A feminazi is] a feminist to whom the most important thing in life is ensuring that as many abortions as possible occur … There are fewer than twenty-five known feminazis in the United States.[31]

That Mr. Limbaugh is missing the entire point of radical feminism can probably be agreed upon even by anti-feminists. Whether the comparison of abortion with the actions of the Nazis holds water is a separate question.


Before accepting the parallel between abortion and the Holocaust, one should keep these points in mind:

  1. The Nazis only used abortion for eugenic and genocidal means. Weimar-era Germany was, for its time, fairly liberal on the abortion question.[32] In 1939, the Nazis ushered in laws that did away with this general permissiveness, forbidding abortions by "Aryan" women while promoting it among non-"Aryans."[33]:94
  2. The Holocaust was a genocide. In these days, the Holocaust is less objected to for its large body count than for the fact that it was a genocide, or, as the United Nations says, an explicit attempt to destroy a nation, ethnicity, or race, or practitioners of a religion. Not only do fetuses not form any such group, but they are not even being targeted on the basis of being fetuses.

Anti-abortion and anti-science[edit]

See the main article on this topic: War on Science

The theme of the 2019 anti-abortion March for Life in Washington, DC was "Unique from Day One: Pro-Life is Pro-Science".[34] Despite this proclamation, the anti-abortion movement has been rather anti-science, for example opposing stem-cell research, promoting many falsehoods on abortion such as the debunked abortion and breast cancer link, abortion and mental health problems link, having doctors abuse their credentials and patient trust to promote the falsehood of "saving" ecotopic pregnancies,[35] and deceiving women to go to religious crisis pregnancy centers. The March promoted two "scientific" non-peer reviewed papers.[34] One paper was published by the anti-abortion Charlotte Lozier Institute:[36]

Because the zygote arises from the fusion of two different cells, it contains all the components of both sperm and egg, and therefore this new cell has a unique molecular composition that is distinct from either gamete. Thus the zygote that comes into existence at the moment of sperm-egg fusion meets the first scientific criterion for being a new cell type: its molecular make-up is clearly different from that of the cells that gave rise to it.

At best, this is a gross oversimplification, and the origin of a human life is more of a political question than a scientific one.[34] The egg and the sperm are also each alive; why not criminalize masturbation or other forms of non-procreative sex for all the living sperm cells deliberately killed?

The second paper was an opinion signed by a few hundred members of the American College of Pediatricians stating that life begins at conception.[34] The American College of Pediatricians is regarded as a fringe anti-LGBT hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.[37]

Fetal pain[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Fetal pain

Some pro-life organizations argue that all forms of surgical abortion will cause pain to the fetus. Human Life International, an anti-abortion organization, claiming that abortion providers themselves back this claim up.[38] This is patently false because fetuses are incapable of feeling pain before about 30 weeks, when evidence of consciousness begins (EEG readings of the fetal brain).[39] This is because "Pain perception requires conscious recognition or awareness of a noxious stimulus."[39] Nearly all abortions occur during the first trimester (13 weeks).

Post-Roe v. Wade repeal (2022-)[edit]

Anti-science, anti-healthcare[edit]

The decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization and the subsequent overturn of Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood forced physicians and patients across the country to prepare to navigate the ethical quagmire that abortion bans present. That preparation requires an assessment of the full scope of abortion restrictions' effects, including how physicians' ethical obligations to their patients and to the practice of medicine may be reshaped, redirected, or even contradicted by the threat posed by laws not founded in science or based on evidence.
—The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists[40]
What we have is laws that are not representative of medical practice, that are not framed in ways that we think or speak as medical professionals, and that makes it confusing.
—David Turok, associate professor of OB/GYN at the University of Utah[41]

Following the nullification of Roe v. Wade by the Dobbs ruling, the willful ignorance, or just plain ignorance of the biology of pregnancy by anti-abortion activists has come into focus as states have proposed new anti-abortion laws or re-examined archaic anti-abortion laws that were never nullified following Roe v. Wade. Examples of common misunderstandings about pregnancy are:[42]

  1. The number of weeks of pregnancy is not based on the day of egg fertilization, but rather the first day of the most recent menstruation preceding pregnancy. This is not biologically sensible, but it is used because it is the most reliable measurement. Actual fertilization usually follows two weeks following that day. This is significant because abortion restriction laws are usually based on the number of weeks of pregnancy.
  2. Actual pregnancy does not start when the sperm and egg join, but rather when the embryo implants in the uterus. The egg is fertilized in the fallopian tube that connects the ovary to the uterus, the fertilized egg-turned embryo must then travel from the tube to the uterus. If the embryo does not reach the uterus, it can lodge in the tube and become an ectopic pregnancy, which can never become a viable pregnancy. It will kill the pregnant person unless it is removed medically, usually by methotrexate which dissolves the cells.[43] This is significant for anti-abortion laws that apply to the fertilized egg.
  3. 'Fetal heartbeat' is based on ultrasound views of early pregnancy that can show movement primitive heart muscle in the shape of a tube and without chambers. The ultrasound is usually shown to the pregnant person and close relatives, and is accompanied by a "lub dub" sound. The sound is not actually made by the heart muscle but by the machine itself. This is significant because anti-abortion propagandists had a billboard campaign falsely claiming that fetal heartbeat starts at 18 days,[44] and because Texas an anti-abortion "heartbeat law" 2021.[45]
  4. Pain is a complex concept that is difficult to measure and requires the nervous system to send signals to the cerebral cortex in the brain. Knowing whether a fetus feels pain is impossible to determine, but fetal pain could not exist before the connections between the nervous system and cerebral cortex are connected at 28-29 weeks. The number of abortions at that time is extremely small since 90% of abortions occur before 13 weeks.
  5. The time of fetal viability is not fixed but babies born around 20-24 weeks either die or have major health problems.

Many of the abortion laws are intentionally vague,[46] making them of dubious legality, but also having a chilling effect for healthcare workers who are likely to err on the side of caution rather than risk imprisonment even if it means endangering the life of the mother. For example, in Malta, which bans all abortions to save the mother's life, it is suspected that doctors unnecessarily remove the fallopian tube in cases of ectopic pregnancy in order not to be charged with performing an illegal abortion.[47] In 2022, an American tourist visiting Malta had an incomplete miscarriage in which the placenta separated from the uterus, making continued pregnancy impossible. Maltese doctors refused to treat her unless she was nearly on the point of death fearing that that they would be charged with an illegal abortion otherwise. The woman was forced to be emergency medically evacuated to Spain to save her life.[48] In Texas, a woman was forced to carry a dead fetus for two weeks because feared risking being criminally charged with abortion if they extracted the dead fetus with the standard and necessary D&C abortion procedure.[49] Other cases have been reported where medical procedures have been unnecessarily delayed, thus further endangering the mothers' lives.[50] In several cases, the procedures were delayed nine days until fetal heart activity stopped:[50] a strand of fetal heart muscle was more important than the whole pregnant person.

Unintended consequences[edit]

  • A significant number people have chosen to be sterilized rather than risk an undesired or life-threatening pregnancy in an anti-abortion state, an unintended consequence of the law.[50]
  • Anti-abortion laws are making access to dual-purpose medicines difficult to obtain, as in the case of methotrexate, which is used both to terminate ectopic pregnancies and to relieve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and lupus (autoimmune diseases).[50][51] Abortion-inducing medications also have broad uses in medicine, including management of miscarriage, induction of labor, cervical dilation before surgical procedures, and treatment of postpartum hemorrhage.[52] Misoprostol is used to induce abortions as well as to treat peptic ulcers.[52] Even when such medications are available, it is likely to make doctors reluctant to prescribe them even when they are the best option available for fear of being charged with inducing an abortion.
  • The confusion about how to interpret anti-abortion laws, and in some states the inability of medical personnel to even mention the option of abortion to patients has resulted in a reduction of recruitment of doctors to states that either have or are likely to have anti-abortion laws, states that already have doctor shortages.[41]

Intentional cruelty[edit]

Some anti-abortion laws are intentionally cruel, making no exceptions for rape, incest, or age of the mother. Shortly after the voiding of Roe v. Wade, a 10-year old girl was raped and became pregnant in Ohio where the abortion ban made no such exceptions. The girl was forced to travel to neighboring Indiana for an abortion.[53]

Some anti-abortion politicians even want to give the death penalty to pregnant people who have abortions, such as Texas Representative Bryan Slaton in 2021[54] and a 2022 North Carolina bill (NC Bill 158) sponsored by five representatives.[55]

Some legal experts have argued that because the Supreme Court's ruling on Roe v. Wade repeal denies the federal right to bodily integrity, the same legal argument could be made by a state to allow eugenics-based forced sterilizations such as had existed in the US between 1929-1974.[56] The Supreme Court ruling that first allowed forced sterilizations in 1927, Buck v. Bell, has been cited twice by Justice Thomas in his dissents against abortion rulings.[56] Thirty-one states still have forced sterilization laws that would go into effect if the Supreme Court allowed them again.[56]

Statistically, the statewide abortion bans that have gone into effect in 2022 will cause increased deaths of pregnant people because in the United States, the risk of death from pregnancy is 14 times higher than the risk of death from abortion.[57][58] The risk of death from pregnancy for African American women is higher than the national average, so their death rate would be increased proportionally.[58]


That the Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization is theocratic is transparent. The six justices who supported the ruling are all conservative Catholics (Samuel Alito, Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh, John Roberts, and Clarence Thomas) except for Neil Gorsuch who is either Catholic or Episcopal.[59] Alito, the author of the ruling, felt compelled to cite archaic English common law (while dismissing an important part of common law, stare decisis out of hand) that preceded the establishment of the United States:[60]

  • Matthew Hale (1609–1676), called "eminent" by Alito, but who sentenced two 'witches' to death.[61] Hale also doubted women's accusations of rape and exempted marital rape from prosecution.[61]
  • Judge Henry de Bracton (c. 1210–1288) was also cited several times with his book De Legibus et Consuetudinibus Angliae.[62]:16,17,25,26,44 Bracton describes the 'proper' procedure for determining whether a woman is pregnant: "carefully examine her by feeling her breasts and abdomen and in every way", and if the exam was inconclusive she would be locked in a castle at her own expense and examined every day until conclusion.[63] Bracton also stated that in cases of suspected fraud, "the woman cannot exceed the gestation period by a single day, even where the issue dies in utero or turns into a monster."[63] Although democracies did not exist at the time of Bracton, he did emphasize the point that England was a theocracy in his book by stating that the king was the "vicar of God" with no equal.[63]

It should also be clear that the decision is grounded more in conservative Christian religion than in law, since opposition to abortion is primarily among conservative Christians,[64] and the Supreme Court was intentionally stacked with conservative Christians to rig this opinion.[65] In contrast, abortion is usually considered permissible among religious Jews and Muslims (up to 120 days).[66]

A Florida synagogue sued the State of Florida in July 2022, basically claiming the recently-enacted Florida law (HB 5, "The Act") that banned abortions after 15 weeks is theocratic because their is no religious exemption for Jews:[67]:19-20[68]

The Act reflects the views of Christian nationalists who seek to deny religious freedom to all others, under the arrogant, self-righteous notion that only they are capable of understanding God’s law and judgments and the religious views of all others are false, evil and not entitled to respect or constitutional protections. Proponents of this way of thinking used their political power to enshrine their narrow religious views as the law of the State of Florida, which not only results in irreparable harm to Plaintiff and all others who espouse a different view, including many of their co-religionists, but it also threatens and harms the very framework or our Democracy, and the cherished ideal of the separation of church and state which has been the cornerstone of American democracy since its inception and the reason why has been so successful and the envy of freedom-loving people throughout the world.

Even within Christianity, there is no consensus about abortion, leaving the total ban on abortion dogma primarily within the Catholic realm.[69] For example:

  • Presbyterians have twice ruled (1970 and 2006) that an abortion decision is an "ethical decision of the patient".[70]
  • The United Church of Christ issued a statement supporting "Freedom of Choice Concerning Abortion" in 1971.[71]
  • The United Methodist Church has stated, "Critical to preserving life is ready access to proper medical care. This includes access to medical care that may include abortion when that is the way to preserve the most life possible."[72]

Anti-abortion individuals and organizations[edit]

Anti-abortion media[edit]

Examples of anti-abortion media include (formerly Pro-Life Infonet) and LifeSiteNews – although both claim to be independent, the latter has a historic connection with the Campaign Life Coalition,Wikipedia a Canadian lobby group that opposes euthanasia and same-sex marriage as well.[73]

See also[edit]


  1. But not apparently, in the fetus or letting the free market deal with abortion.
  2. Taken to its logical conclusion, this would suggest that life begins before conception, which anti-abortion activists prefer not to think too hard about.


  1. To Be Frank by Charles P. Pierce (October 2, 2005) The Boston Globe.
  2. American Dad Episode Transcripts: Deacon Stan, Jesus Man
  3. Trump's spiritual adviser called for 'all satanic pregnancies to miscarry.' It was a metaphor, she says. by Derek Hawkins & Angela Fritz (Jan. 26, 2020 at 10:24 a.m. PST) The Washington Post.
  4. Paula White, Trump "spiritual advisor": “We command all Satanic pregnancies to miscarry right now! (Jan 25, 2020) YouTube.
  5. Paula White Ministries (archived from January 26, 2020).
  6. A brief history of a marketing masterpiece: branding the anti-abortion movement “pro-life” by Annalisa Merelli (Published January 28, 2017; Last updated February 3, 2017) Quartz.
  7. Can you be pro-life and pro-death penalty? by Carol Costello (May 28, 2014) CNN.
  8. Why It’s Completely Consistent To Be Pro-Life And Pro-Death Penalty by Benjamin R. Dierker (November 26, 2018) The Federalist.
  9. El Salvador teen rape victim sentenced to 30 years in prison after stillbirth, The Guardian
  10. When Prosecutors Jail a Mother for a Miscarriage: Women grieving after a lost pregnancy or a newborn’s accidental death are being charged with crimes. (Dec. 28 2018) The New York Times.
  11. Is miscarriage murder? States that put fetal rights ahead of a mother's say so by Sadhbh Walshe (25 Jan 2013 08.15 EST) The Guardian.
  12. Summerhill: A Radical Approach to Child Rearing by Alexander Sutherland Neill (1960). Hart Publishing.
  13. Annalisa Merelli, A brief history of a marketing masterpiece: branding the anti-abortion movement "pro-life", Quartz, January 28 2017
  14. Ladd, D. (March 11, 2019). The white women who flipped: the price of changing your conservative views. The Guardian. Retrieved March 23, 2019.
  15. Miriam Zoila Pérez, "Past and Present Collide as the Black Anti-Abortion Movement Grows," Colorlines, 3 March 2011
  16. Erin Cargile, "Anti-abortion ads target black women" KXAN, 22 December 2010
  17. Laura Basset, "Anti-Abortion Movement Targets Black Women In Latest Efforts," Huffington Post, 22 April, 2011
  18. Kathryn Joyce, "Missing: The 'Right' Babies", The Nation, 14 February 2008
  19. Ari M. Brostoff, "How white nationalists aligned themselves with the antiabortion movement", The Washington Post, 27 August 2019
  20. Alex DiBranco, "The Long History of the Anti-Abortion Movement's Links to White Supremacists", The Nation, 3 February 2020
  21. Revealed: US pro-birth conference’s links to far-right eugenicists: Natal conference, to be held in Austin in December, promoted on far-right podcast circuit and set to host self-described eugenicists by Jason Wilson (4 Sep 2023 05.00 EDT) The Guardian.
  22. "A Defense of Abortion" by Judith Jarvis Thomson (1971) Philosophy & Public Affairs 1(1):47-66.
  23. 23.0 23.1 "Why Is an Argument Clinic Less Silly than an Abuse Clinic or Contradiction Clinic?" by Harry Brighouse (2006) In: Monty Python and Philosophy: Nudge Nudge, Think Think!, edited by Gary L. Hardcastle & George A. Reisch. Open Court. ISBN 0812695933. Pages 53-63.
  24. Biblical abortion references
  25. The ‘biblical view’ that’s younger than the Happy Meal
  26. Numbers 5:27 (KJV)
  27. Numbers 5:11-31 (New International Version)
  28. Women’s thighs falling away – new Bible diet?
  29. Mishnah Niddah 5:3 Sefaria.
  30. Rita Joseph, Human Rights and the Unborn Child, p. 186.
  31. Limbaugh, Rush. The Way Things Ought to Be, pp.193, 296.
  32. The Abortion and Eugenics Policies of Nazi Germany by John Hunt (2001) Association for Interdisciplinary Research in Values and Social Change 16(1). Reprinted in
  33. "Abortion and Eugenics in Nazi Germany" by Henry P. David et al. (1988) Population and Development Review 14(1):81-112. doi:10.2307/1972501.
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 34.3 Trump and Pence give surprise addresses at antiabortion March for Life by Michelle Boorstein, Julie Zauzmer & Marisa Iati (January 18, 2019) The Washington Post.
  35. Osberg, M. (October 1, 2019). The Anti-Abortion Doctor Who Believes Ectopic Pregnancies Can Be 'Reimplanted'. Jezebel. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  36. A Scientific View of When Life Begins by Maureen Condic (June 11, 2014) Charlotte Lozier Institute.
  37. American College of Pediatricians Southern Poverty Law Center
  38. Fetal Pain Is a Reason to End Abortion (October 6, 2021) Human Life International.
  39. 39.0 39.1 Fetal Pain: A Systematic Multidisciplinary Review of the Evidence by Susan J. Lee et al. (2005) JAMA 294(8):947–954. doi:10.1001/jama.294.8.947.
  40. Webinar: Breaking the Law or Breaking the Oath? How Abortion Bans Betray America’s Patients and Physicians The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
  41. 41.0 41.1 A challenge for antiabortion states: Doctors reluctant to work there: Recruiters say OB/GYNs are turning down offers, a warning for conservative-dominated states already experiencing shortages by Christopher Rowland (August 6, 2022 at 12:05 p.m. EDT) The Washington Post.
  42. 5 misunderstandings of pregnancy biology that cloud the abortion debate: The U.S. Supreme Court’s scrapping of Roe v. Wade leaves abortion laws up to the states by Laura Sanders (June 24, 2022 at 1:58 pm) Science News.
  43. Ectopic pregnancy Mayo Clinic.
  44. Minnesotan’s baby billboard effort against abortion running strong by Richard Chin (July 20, 2012 at 11:01 p.m. | UPDATED: November 9, 2015 at 11:31 p.m.) Pioneer Press (archived from April 15, 2022).
  45. Mastermind of the Texas ‘Heartbeat’ Statute Has a Radical Mission to Reshape American Law by Amy Littlefield (April 5, 2022) Reveal.
  46. Abortion is now banned in these states. See where laws have changed. by Caroline Kitchener et al. (Updated July 19, 2022 at 3:59 p.m. EDT; Published June 24, 2022 at 10:23 a.m. EDT) The Washington Post.
  47. Ectopic pregnancy treatment highlights health risks of abortion ban: Pro-choice doctors say Maltese doctors surgically remove fallopian tube to avoid criminal liability of abortion in ectopic pregnancies by Laura Calleja (9 December 2020, 6:56am) Malta Today.
  48. Woman Who Had Miscarriage in Malta Taken to Spain to Abort: A pregnant American woman who suffered an incomplete miscarriage while vacationing in Malta is receiving treatment in a hospital on the Spanish island of Mallorca because Maltese law prohibits abortion. (June 24, 2022, at 12:46 p.m.) Associated Press via U.S. News & World Report.
  49. Woman says she carried dead fetus for 2 weeks after Texas abortion ban by Timothy Bella (July 20, 2022 at 4:16 p.m. EDT) The Washington Post.
  50. 50.0 50.1 50.2 50.3 Abortion laws spark profound changes in other medical care By Lindsey Tanner (July 16, 2022) AP.
  51. Abortion bans complicate access to drugs for cancer, arthritis, even ulcers: Some chronically ill women face questions about critical medications that could be used to end a pregnancy. by Katie Shepherd & Frances Stead Sellers (August 8, 2022 at 6:00 a.m. EDT) The Washington Post.
  52. 52.0 52.1 Abortion restrictions threaten care for pregnant patients, providers say: Women’s health care providers are holding back when counseling pregnant patients about treatment options, doctors report pharmacists are hesitant to distribute some prescriptions, and OB-GYN training is diminishing for Texas medical school students. by Sneha Dey & Karen Brooks Harper (May 24, 2022) The Texas Monthly.
  53. A one-source story about a 10-year-old and an abortion goes viral by Glenn Kessler (Updated July 13, 2022 at 1:27 p.m. EDT; Published July 9, 2022 at 3:00 a.m. EDT) The Washington Post.
  54. A Texas GOP lawmaker recently introduced a bill that would allow the death penalty for women who have an abortion. by Gabrielle Settles (June 28, 2022) PolitiFact.
  55. Will North Carolina punish abortion with the death penalty? NC Bill 158 explained by Alexandra Ciufudean (July 19, 2022) The Focus.
  56. 56.0 56.1 56.2 She survived a forced sterilization. She fears more could occur post-Roe. by Meena Venkataramanan (July 24, 2022 at 7:00 a.m. EDT) The Washington Post.
  57. The comparative safety of legal induced abortion and childbirth in the United States by Elizabeth G. Raymond & David A Grimes (2012) Obstet. Gynecol. 119(2 Pt 1):215-9. doi:10.1097/AOG.0b013e31823fe923.
  58. 58.0 58.1 The math is clear: Forced-birth laws will kill more women by Jennifer Rubin (July 27, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. EDT) The Washington Post.
  59. See the Wikipedia article on Demographics of the Supreme Court of the United States.
  60. Dobbs, State Health Officer Of the Mississippi Department Of Health, et al. v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization et al. Supreme Court of the United States.
  61. 61.0 61.1 On Roe, Alito cites a judge who treated women as witches and property by Jill Elaine Hasday (May 10, 2022) The Washington Post.
  62. Justice Alito's initial draft abortion opinion which would overturn Roe v. Wade Politico.
  63. 63.0 63.1 63.2 That 13th-century law treatise Alito uses? Here’s what else it says. by Dana Milbank (May 9, 2022) The Washington Post.
  64. Which religious groups’ members are most likely to identify as pro-choice? by Jamie Ballard (May 13, 2022, 10:31 AM GMT-7) YouGov America.
  65. The GOP’s court-stacking: Democrats say it’s actually Republicans who have engaged in court-packing. That’s not right, though. Here’s why "court-stacking" is a better fit. by Aaron Blake (October 12, 2020 at 11:30 a.m. EDT) The Washington Post.
  66. ‘Theocratic’ US abortion bans will violate religious liberty, faith leaders say: The anti-abortion side has monopolized arguments based on religion. But some say their faith supports the right to choose by Melody Schreiber (2 Jun 2022 08.42 EDT) The Guardian.
  67. Complaint of L’Dor Va- Dor v. Florida Document Cloud.
  68. Doctors and patients deserve a ‘conscience’ exception to abortion bans by Jennifer Rubin (July 24, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. EDT) The Washington Post.
  69. Say It Out Loud! Behind The Debate Over Abortion, There Lies A Troubling Truth by Rollin Russell (Jul 15, 2022) Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
  70. Abortion Issues Presbyterian Mission Agency.
  71. General Synod Statements and Resolutions Regarding Freedom of Choice (1971) United Church of Christ.
  72. What is the UM position on abortion? The United Methodist Church.
  73. "About". Retrieved 25 September 2016.