Why are Pro-Life legislators REPEALING laws criminalizing abortion?

Why are Pro-Life legislators REPEALING laws criminalizing abortion?

Did you see what happened in South Carolina?

Pro-Life legislators REPEALED an existing law that made it a criminal act for a pregnant woman to deliberately kill her own preborn baby by abortion.😳

And this isn’t the first time. Other states have done this.

Before I get to the others, though, here’s what South Carolina did.

South Carolina had a statute (S.C. Code Ann. § 44-41-80) criminalizing self-managed abortions:

S.C. Code Ann. § 44-41-80 criminalizing self-managed abortions was repealed.

But, the 2023 Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act (S.C. SB 474, Section 9), repealed that law, decriminalizing self-managed abortion in South Carolina.

Here’s how it happened.

A Democrat Senator offered the amendment to do this (Hutto, Amendment 10).
With 30 Republican senators and only 13 Democrats, you would assume that anything decriminalizing abortion like this wouldn’t stand a chance of passing, right?


One Republican did try to kill the amendment, but only two voted with him. Every other Pro-Life legislator voted with the Democrats to repeal this law prohibiting self-managed abortions.

While I haven’t seen a single Pro-Life organization or media outlet point this out, pro-ABORTION advocates have certainly noticed and are celebrating.

They’re also making sure women know about it.[1]

Twitter post from If/When/How Lawyering for Reproductive Justice

I know it sounds crazy!

Why would people who call themselves Pro-Life do something so damaging to the legal protection of preborn babies?

And if pro-life leaders and organizations around the country disagree with what they’re doing, why aren’t more of them saying anything about it? Are any of them?

📣🎉Instead, Pro-Life headlines are shouting VICTORY in South Carolina. Yet the reality is that babies there are now even more vulnerable to the fastest growing method of abortion in post-Roe America than they were before the heartbeat law went into effect.

Pro-Life sources call South Carolina law a victory.

In 2023, self-managed abortion is usually performed by women at home with abortion pills ordered online. This type of abortion is exploding in popularity since Roe was overturned. Women don’t need clinics to get abortions anymore. And with every passing month, the number of women requesting abortion pills online is going up.

In July 2023, one of the largest online pill providers reported that they had over 15,000 requests from inside the U.S. in a single month.[2] That is a dramatic increase from early post-Roe estimates of 6,500+ per month from that same provider.[3]

Self-managed abortion is not just the future of abortion, it’s the current reality. So why are Pro-Life legislators repealing laws that prohibit it?

This isn’t an isolated incident.

In Arizona in 2021, Pro-Life bill SB 1457 repealed Arizona statute § 13-3604. Once again, it was Pro-Life legislation that was lobbied for by Pro-Life organizations that decriminalized self-managed abortion for women in that state.

Arizona statute prohibiting self-managed abortion was repealed.

And it keeps happening.

The same thing that happened in South Carolina and Arizona was also attempted in Oklahoma, and they’re halfway to succeeding.

Oklahoma is a state that is dominated by Pro-Life leaders in nearly every position of power or influence. There is no meaningful pro-abortion opposition in Oklahoma.

But that didn’t stop Pro-Life Republican legislators from trying to repeal the two Oklahoma statutes that criminalized self-managed abortion.

They got halfway there when they repealed one of the statutes while passing their “trigger” law in 2021, SB 918, which went into effect in 2022 after Roe was overturned.

Repealed Oklahoma statute prohibiting self-managed abortion.

This year, they went back to try to finish the job with SB 834 to repeal the other statute prohibiting self-managed abortions.

And the state affiliate of National Right to Life supported it.

All 9 Pro-Life Republicans on the Senate committee voted to repeal it.

A second Oklahoma statute that Pro-Life legislators attempted to repeal.

At least SB 834 hasn’t passed. Yet.

The question is, why does this keep happening?

The answer is simple.

The majority of Pro-Life organizations that lobby for legislation at the state and federal levels do not want women to EVER be subject to legal penalties for aborting their own babies. Not now, not ever. Period.

More than 75 Pro-Life organizations signed onto an open letter from National Right to Life to every legislator across the country, saying exactly that.

In that letter they state that:

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…

We will continue to oppose legislative and policy initiatives that criminalize women who seek abortions

We urge you [legislators] to reject any measure that seeks to criminalize women who have abortions.”[4]

Equal protection for preborn babies, which means that murdering anyone would be illegal for everyone, is not even a goal that they have for the future.

In fact, they OPPOSE that goal.

Oftentimes this opposition goes on behind the scenes as they lobby individually with legislators in state capitols and persuade them to keep equal protection legislation from moving through legislative committees to the floor. Other times they put their cards on the table publicly like they did in Louisiana and Missouri.

And sometimes they make it REALLY clear by going so far as to rip out EXISTING laws that deter mothers from murdering their own children.

You HAVE to understand. This isn’t just a difference in strategy. They actually oppose equal protection for preborn children.

This is a difference in foundation.

Abolitionists call for equal protection because that is what God demands. His command is to establish justice for the fatherless without partiality. The biblical principles of equal protection found throughout God’s Word aren’t just a suggested strategy or one of many possible ways to abolish the evil of abortion. 

They are our foundation. With God’s help, we build all of our goals and strategies on His Word. In this fight against one of the greatest evils of our day, we must trust that God’s ways, both the ends and the means, are perfect. We walk by faith and not by sight, trusting Him to give the victory.

I hope you are with us in this fight.

For life, for justice, and for the glory of God,

Bradley Pierce

Bradley Pierce
Abolish Abortion Texas
Foundation to Abolish Abortion


P.S. Most people do not know what is really going on in the post-Roe fight. They assume that the Pro-Life lobby is working to give preborn babies the same protections the rest of us have, but as you can see, most are actually OPPOSING that goal, and those who are not are largely silent. This is why our work at the Foundation to Abolish Abortion is CRITICAL to the fight for equal protection. Precious preborn children need us to be a strong voice to break through the opposition. Your donation of any amount TODAY will help amplify the voice for equal protection that is so desperately needed. 



  1. https://twitter.com/ifwhenhow/status/1696617664687538392?s=20
  2. https://aidaccess.org/en/page/3767036/usa-abortion-providers-aid-access-started-serving-all-usa-states
  3. https://www.nytimes.com/2023/04/12/upshot/legal-abortions-fell-dobbs.html
  4. https://nrlc.org/uploads/communications/051222coalitionlettertostates.pdf