Pro-Life Groups Celebrate the Defeat of a State Party Resolution Criminalizing Women

For Immediate Release: April 9, 2024 
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Punishing Women Does Not Protect the Unborn

Fargo, N.D. – A proposed North Dakota GOP resolution to punish women who have abortions has been voted down after national and state pro-life groups voiced their opposition. Last week, leaders of organizations including SBA Pro-Life America President Marjorie Dannenfelser and ND Family Alliance Executive Director Mark Jorritsma sent a letter to North Dakota Republican Party Chair Sandi Sanford rejecting the proposed resolution on charging women as “co-conspirators” in their own abortions.

Dannenfelser celebrated the resolution’s defeat:

“We thank North Dakota GOP delegates for representing the pro-life movement in voting down this harmful resolution. Together, we will oppose any effort to criminalize women – even non-binding resolutions. We celebrate that in the very few states where this kind of legislation has been filed not a single bill punishing women has advanced. As many women face abortion coercion, a culture that lies to them about the humanity of their unborn children, and a predatory abortion industry profiting off of lives and women’s suffering, we must provide more support to mothers, not condemnation.”

Referencing a previous pro-life letter sent to legislators across the country in 2022, the signers said:

“As national and state pro-life organizations, representing tens of millions of pro-life men, women, and children across the country, let us be clear: We state unequivocally that we do not support any measure seeking to criminalize or punish women and we stand firmly opposed to include such penalties in legislation.”

Peer-reviewed research from Charlotte Lozier Institute shows nearly 70% of women who have had abortions describe them as inconsistent with their own values and preferences, with one in four describing their abortions as unwanted or coerced; over 60% report high levels of pressure to abort from one or more sources.

The resolution stands in contrast to pro-woman legislation recently passed by North Dakota lawmakers including:

  • HB 1176: tax credits for contributions to maternity homes and pregnancy help organizations
  • SB 2129: an extension of North Dakota Alternatives to Abortion funding
  • SB 2181: an extension on TANF assistance for pregnant mothers

The North Dakota GOP Convention was held over the weekend and on Monday afternoon a party representative announced the passage of 14 resolutions and the defeat of the resolution criminalizing women.

Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America is a network of more than one million pro-life Americans nationwide, dedicated to ending abortion by electing national leaders and advocating for laws that save lives, with a special calling to promote pro-life women leaders.


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