Self-Care, Criminalized: The Criminalization of Self-Managed Abortion from 2000 to 2020

Huss, Laura; Diaz-Tello, Farah; Samari, Goleen

This research provides an evidence-based perspective on the criminalization of abortion, and it aims to provide guidance for abortion seekers; those who support them; and advocates seeking to shift the law, expand access to all methods of abortion care, and advance reproductive justice. This report, the culmination of a multiyear research effort, elucidates the practical reality of the criminalization of abortion for abortion seekers by documenting and analyzing cases across the country in which people have been criminally investigated or arrested for allegedly self-managing
their own abortion or helping someone else do so. During this study’s time period (from 2000 to 2020), medication abortion was available to safely and effectively end a pregnancy and abortion rights ostensibly enjoyed constitutional protection under Roe v. Wade. And yet, at least 61 people across 26 states faced criminalization for alleged self-managed abortion, despite the fact that only seven states had explicit self-managed abortion bans (today, Nevada is the only state that retains its ban).


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Population and Family Health
Published Here
November 2, 2023