MARSHALL COUNTY, W.Va. (WTRF)
If the landmark Supreme Court decision is overturned, it will create a patchwork of abortion laws, differing from state to state.
Attorney Diana Crutchfield of Marshall County says mainstream anti-abortion activists are clearly not seeking to criminalize or prosecute the woman, but rather the providers.
But she says prosecutors with extreme anti-abortion views may try to charge the woman with other crimes.
“What it will do is then embolden and empower the states to use their other laws to focus on the pregnant woman,” Crutchfield noted. “Their homicide laws, for example. Their child abuse laws, for example. Laws that they’ve been using for years in drug-related fetal deaths.”
She says it could lead to other people close to the woman being charged.
She says, for instance, a family member who pays for the procedure or a nurse who assisted, could be charged with aiding and abetting.
She notes that in Texas, the woman won’t be prosecuted, but another person can sue the abortion provider for civil damages.