Women are watching their rights disappear as more and more states are proposing and passing anti-abortion laws.
A bill known as the “Fetal Heartbeat Bill” officially passed and became a law in Georgia this past week after Gov. Brian Kemp signed it into law. Other states such as Ohio, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee and South Carolina are trying to follow close behind.
Under this law, a pregnant woman cannot get an abortion if a heartbeat is detected during a sonogram, which can happen as early as six weeks, before most women even know that they are pregnant. The bill does not make exceptions for rape or incest, only for situations that put the mother’s life or health in danger.
Though this law doesn’t necessarily “ban” all abortions, it makes them extremely restrictive and almost completely eliminates the chances of them happening. Since most women are unaware of pregnancy until six-to-eight weeks, they wouldn’t be able to have a safe and legal abortion, if they choose to. This bill is a loophole tactic as it almost completely undermines a given right to women.
The concern that Democrats, women and other pro-choice citizens have, surrounding this bill, is the potential it contains. Many fear that this bill is paving its way to the Supreme Court to try and overturn Roe v. Wade.
Roe v. Wade was a Supreme Court case in 1973 that stated safe and legal abortions are a constitutional right to U.S. citizens. With this in mind, it is clear to see how these deliberately restrictive laws, such as the Fetal Heartbeat Bill, are unconstitutional and stripping rights away from women in need.
It is believed that this uproar is a result of President Trump's current and persistent attack on abortion, which is made up of pieces of false information bound together as one big heaping mess of propaganda; insisting that doctors are executing newborn babies.
“The baby is born. The mother meets with the doctor. They take care of the baby. They wrap the baby beautifully. And then the doctor and the mother determine whether or not they will execute the baby” Trump said at a Wisconsin rally earlier this month.
This spread of misinformation from someone with as much power as the President is extremely dangerous. We are seeing the effects of it right now with the rise in anti-abortion bills and laws and the traction the pro-life movement is gaining.
If Roe v. Wade was ever overturned and abortion became illegal, the ugly truth is that it wouldn’t stop abortions from happening, it would just stop them from happening safely. Rape victims, incest pregnancies or simply women who can’t afford to bring life into this world would be putting themselves in more danger trying to do at home abortions or from nonprofessionals. Whether you are pro-life or pro-choice, you must accept that abortions are going to occur. We must ensure they can occur safely by being legal.
If we look at other countries that have banned abortion, it’s easy to see bans don’t work. In countries where abortion is banned, botched abortions cause around 8-11% of all maternal deaths. That’s about 30,000 per year.
Though it is believed that Roe v. Wade won’t get overturned, it is unsettling to have a mostly conservative Supreme Court, including newly appointed and pro-life judge Brett Kavanaugh.
Overturning may not happen anytime soon but subtle chips and restrictions are bound to make abortion a less promising option for women.
We need to stay educated about abortion and what is happening in countries that have it banned. We need to continue to fact check the information we hear, even if it comes from the President, and most importantly, we need to band together to look out for women. Their bodies, their choice.