The Pro-Life Feminist

Dec, 2023 (vol xxvi)

2023 Year in Review: Legal Violence, Impacts and Hope

Together- we must keep advocating for our most defenseless brothers and sisters.

As we step into the threshold of 2024, let us proceed forward, sharp minded, with hearts full of love and hope. 

In a world too often marked by despair, committed advocates for life have a duty to understand and confront the intricate circumstances that define our times. 

The Consistent Life Ethic serves as the guiding principle of Feminists Choosing Life of New York. We recognize and embrace the inherent value and dignity of all human beings from the moment of existence to natural death. Assisted suicide, capital punishment, war and abortion all sanction the violent destruction of human life. We are convinced there is a better way; that progressive societies have an obligation to fight for nonviolent solutions and expose root causes.

As we witness glimmers of hope and cultural transformations occurring around us, it becomes our collective mission to march steadfastly ahead, our noses to the grindstone, championing for the well-being of children and families, for every member of the human family.

May your 2024 be filled with health and wellness, and let our commitment to life propel us into a year of meaningful progress and positive change. 

"A consistent ethic of life sees that offenses against human life operate in webs of violence and affect those who are most vulnerable—most especially children, the elderly, and the disabled. But it also sees more than this: it sees that only a profoundly consistent and costly kind of love that draws close to those in need is capable of resisting a throw-away culture. Living a consistent ethic of life, therefore, means living gently in a violent world by showing particular care for “those who are the poorest, most alone

and most in need… ” -Jessica Keating


Laws permiting assisted suicide are on the rise and expanding. In 2023, assisted suicide or medical aid in dying legislation was legalized in Portugal, and upheld against challenges in Spain. Active euthanasia eligibility in Canada is set to expand to those suffering solely from a mental illness, and in the Netherlands, to children of any age, with parental permission. 

Domestically, the number of states in the U.S. enacting assisted suicide laws has grown to eleven, with four of these states having liberalized their assisted suicide laws in 2023.

Only seven states sanctioned the procedure five years ago, and only three states legally permitted assisted suicide ten years ago. States that passed laws in favor of the deadly act include California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont and Washington. 

Policies permitting assisted suicide or Medial Aid in Dying (A.995A/S.2445A) are currently pending in New York. 


Assisted suicide dehumanizes vulnerable people, especially poor elderly and disabled individuals. It perpetuates a “burden to society” mentality, and devalues the lives of dependents. It erodes physician integrity and patient trust, and endorses suicide as an appropriate response to suffering.

"There is robust evidence, taken from different jurisdictions and using a variety of statistical methods, that the total number of self initiated deaths rises significantly where [Assisted Suicide] is legally available, and strong evidence that this has a greater impact on older women.”

Hope is within reach. Despite the push to legalize assisted suicide in 17 states, including New York, no state successfully passed such legislation in 2023. 

As we did in 2023, FCLNY will continue to fight against the legalization of assisted suicide in NY, and raise awareness about its impacts on marginalized populations.

Cost and inconvenience should never inform laws 

that impact life and death.


Capital punishment or the death penalty remains a widely utilized form of violent punitive justice, despite its contentiousness. In 2023, Iran’s executions topped over 600 and Saudi Arabia’s, over 100. In 2022, Amnesty International recorded at least 883 executions in 20 countries – a 53% increase from the previous year, and the highest total since 2017. 

On the federal level in the U.S. capital punishment remained illegal from 1972 until 1988. In 2020, federal executions resumed. The current presidential administration promised to abolish the federal death penalty once and for all, but it has not. 

The majority of states (27) in the U.S. legally permit the death penalty. Five states have actually executed people under their death penalty statutes this year: Alabama, Florida, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.  While New York abolished its death penalty statute in 2007 individuals who commit certain federal crimes in NY can still be sentenced to death, under federal law.


The death penalty unequally impacts people of color and those of low socioeconomic status. While men make up most of those languishing on death row, women suffer disproportionately from the violence of capital punishment. Entire families are also affected. Intergenerational trauma ensues when loved ones are sentenced to death. 

There is hope. Nearly three-quarters of the world have either abolished or ceased practicing the death penalty. In the U.S. a recent Gallup Poll points to a first-time shift in public opinion, with more Americans believing the death penalty is administered unfairly than fairly. Most significantly, children-offenders under the age of 18-  remain exempt from the death penalty

FCLNY persists in advocating for the abolition of the death penalty on every level.  Please sign our circulating petition to stop the execution of Taylor Renee Parker, on death row since Nov, 2022.

If the law can kill we are all vulnerable.


War fuels poverty and poverty fuels war. The Geneva Academy currently documents more than 110 active armed conflicts worldwide. The human casualties of armed conflict are disturbing. According to the most recent data, more than 238,000 people died in conflict last year “marking a massive 96 percent increase year over year in deaths related to conflicts.”  

According to the Watson Institute, from 2001 to May 2023, an estimated 3.6-3.8 million people have indirectly lost their lives in war zones where the U.S. has been involved. These armed conflict zones include Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, and Yemen, where the overall death toll is expected to rise and surpass 4.5-4.7 million people.

Armed conflicts persist in many other nations. Over 150,000 Yemen citizens have perished in armed conflict. The Israel-Hamas war, ongoing since October 2023, has caused tens of thousands of deaths. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) verified a total of 9,614 civilian deaths during Russia's invasion of Ukraine. During this year alone, 5,000 Sudanese civilians and nearly 1,000 Syrian civilians have died due to armed conflict.


Armed conflict more severely impacts poor women and children than any other people group. Statistics illustrate 468 million children live in armed conflict zones worldwide, accounting for about 20% of the world’s children. Women and girls constitute the majority of displaced people and refugees worldwide, and become targets of sexual violence during armed conflict. Additionally, violent military action greatly disrupts essential social services, depriving families of vital life-sustaining resources. More than 7.6 million children under the age of 5, in war zones with U.S. involvement, are suffering from “acute malnutrition.” The psychological trauma and adverse emotional consequences of war, especially on children are profound, and include increased anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress. 

Hope remains. War-torn families continue to reunite and non-governmental organizations and others continue to rescue children. At the Global Refugee Forum in Geneva, Switzerland, Dec. 13-15, 2023, organizations and people from divergent backgrounds and political beliefs made record breaking pledges to help meet the needs of forcibly displaced and stateless people, as a result of war.  

FCLNY will continue to expose the caustic impacts of war. We will continue to push for peace and dialogue. We are long-standing peace petition participants with World Beyond War, a nonviolent movement to establish sustainable peace. If you haven’t already, sign the Declaration of Peace.

Whether in utero, within a war zone, on death row or infirm, 

each and every human life matters- with equal value and equal worth.


The destruction of human beings from assisted suicide, capital punishment and armed conflict is appalling. But nothing compares to the loss of life inflicted upon humanity by abortion. 

Abortion's global impact remains profound, harming women and ending countless children's lives. The World Health Organization reports a staggering 73 million abortions annually worldwide. Global abortion law continues to trend liberally. Over the last three decades, over sixty countries have expanded legal grounds for abortion access, except for the U.S. (on a federal level) In 2023, for example, Mexico enacted its own “Roe v Wade”, decriminalizing abortion across the country. 

Analysis from the Guttmacher Institute found roughly 511,000 abortions occurred during the first six months of 2023 in the U.S.. Even with Roe v Wade overturned, abortion rates have increased in most states this year, including NY, which consistently ranks high in both rate and volume of abortions. Nearly 13,000 later-term abortions (20+ weeks gestation) happen annually in the U.S. In NY, nearly 2,000 occur on average annually, according to the most recently published data on induced abortions in NY, covering a span of 10 years.

More than half of abortions in the U.S. now involve medical “abortion pills,” using two drugs, Mifepristone and Misoprostol

In 2023 the U.S. Supreme Court blocked a life-promoting lower court ruling and maintained the use of “medication abortion where and when abortion is legal.” Under current federal policy chemical abortion can be used to abort children “up to 10 weeks of gestation” and mailed to “patients following a telehealth appointment.” 

In 2023 the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the pharmaceutical sale of chemical abortion which a handful of small pharmacies across the country have already begun dispensing, including three pharmacies in NY, one in Rochester, NY: Genesee Campus Apothecary.

“Thousands of branches of major pharmacy chains are poised to join them — making the drugs more accessible to millions of people nationwide and kicking off a new phase of the legal and political battle over the most popular method of ending a pregnancy.”

In 2023, NY enacted a slew of laws expanding and protecting abortion access, including a statute that requires SUNY/CUNY college campus student health centers to provide access to chemical abortions to “all enrolled students.

The final decision on regulations surrounding abortion pills in the U.S. currently awaits a Supreme Court ruling, expected in 2024.


Abortion disproportionately impacts poor women and minorities.

Post-abortive women often suffer short and long-term mental and physical consequences from abortion that directly impact their lives. Sound research from a peer-reviewed mega study indicates abortion increases womens’ risk of depression, anxiety, suicide and substance abuse disorders. Women constantly face propaganda that they cannot succeed in life if they continue an unexpected pregnancy, dehumanizing unborn children and degrading women.

Abortion is potentially lethal and increases risks of placenta previa and preterm birth in subsequent pregnancies. Because not all states report abortion complication data to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and among the states that do very few provide comprehensive data, the true impacts of abortion on women’s health and lives are largely unknown. 

Regarding chemical abortion, data confirms that the abortion pill potentially endangers the health of mothers, especially for pregnancies more than nine weeks or ectopic. According to the Mayo Clinic, the abortion pill’s risks include hemorrhaging, fever, incomplete abortion, and severe abdominal pain. Mifeprex (the Mifepristone brand approved by the FDA) alerts women of serious and sometimes fatal infections or bleeding on its 19 page warning label.

Pro-choice special interests exploit rare pregnancy cases like Kate Cox’s to undermine life-promoting policies such as the abortion law in Texas, which clearly includes an exception for pregnancies that endanger the physical life of the mother. Like the majority of all abortions, most later-term abortions in the U.S. involve elective procedures, performed on healthy mothers and healthy unborn children. 

The situation is not without hope. At least 30,000 new babies who would have otherwise been aborted were instead born in states that enacted some form of abortion restriction following the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade in June, 2022. In recent years, a number of countries have also pushed back against the expansion of abortion. Crucial support services for women experiencing unplanned pregnancies have also grown throughout the country since Roe’s overturn. Diverse Pro-Life groups and people are pulling together to ensure women, children and families have access to the resources they need to flourish and thrive. Together- we are building a Post-Roe Future! 

See and sign the petition here supporting the need to “eliminate or reduce the significant economic and social pressures that we know drive women to seek abortion in the first place.” 

Poverty, inconvenience, hardship and the prospect of human suffering, while no excuse to kill, should at minimum serve as the fiercest driver to help women in crisis. Without a doubt, most women facing unplanned pregnancies are in crisis.


Smith, et al vs. Hochul, et al

Relevant portions of the legal challenge to NY’s Reproductive Health Act (spearheaded by FCLNY) continues on appeal before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, and is  potentially one step closer to the U.S. Supreme Court. 

The appeal involved in Smith vs. Hochul is ultimately asking the Court to: 

(1) Recognize a right to life for viable unborn children under the 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and (2) identify who can speak on behalf of the viable unborn in a court of law; exactly who can present their claim to life- their right to live free from violent destruction.

This case is a fight for the voiceless. It represents an opportunity to rehumanize some children, an opportunity to protect more kids from death. Stand by for more on this in 2024.

Byrnes, et al vs. The Senate of the State of NY, et al

A lawsuit challenging the legality of the process by which the NY legislature enacted the resolution to amend NY’s Constitution with the ‘Equal Rights Amendment’ was filed in October, 2023. While this is a technical/procedural challenge, it could successfully stall the referendum vote on this amendment to 2025 or 2026.

Currently, the proposed ERA amendment to NY’s Constitution is scheduled for a ballot vote on November 5, 2024. If voted upon favorably by a majority of voters- this amendment will have far reaching, anti-life impacts on children and families.

Its language appears benign, but its death grip is real.

Among many other things, the amendment transforms abortion into a fundamental state constitutional right. It potentially allows for unrestricted abortion access for women and girls throughout all nine months of pregnancy and precludes future legislatures from enacting any common sense standards surrounding the procedure.

Grassroots Action Against NY’s ERA

FCLNY is working diligently with other groups across the state to help build a campaign that WILL defeat this amendment. Stay tuned for more on this in 2024.

In our commitment to a consistent life ethic, we find hope in the collective effort to combat violence and foster a culture of life. By coming together across diverse perspectives, we can address the root causes of violence, by embracing a holistic approach that values every human life. In unity, we strive to create a society where the dignity and sanctity of life prevails, where compassionate solutions replace aggression. Together, we can transform culture where respect for life guides our actions, and our shared commitment to nonviolence transforms

communities and hearts.

Feminists Choosing Life of New York 



FCLNY is one of over 200-member organizations of the Consistent Life Network.  

FCLNY is recognized as a 501(c)(3) public charity by the IRS. Gifts are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law. Upon request, a copy of the latest annual report can be obtained by FCLNY or from the Office of the Attorney General by writing to the Charities Bureau at 28 Liberty St., 15th Floor, NY, NY 10005 

Feminists Choosing Life of New York

1545 East Avenue, Suite 1, Rochester, NY 14610

(585) 730-7808

[email protected]


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