The nation is up in arms about new laws being put in place in some states regarding the right to an abortion and, in some cases, birth control in general. Throughout history women have had to fight for every right that was automatically given to men, most recently women are fighting for the right to have an abortion.
In total, eight states have changed their previous abortion laws since this year has started. Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi and Ohio have restricted their laws to not allowing an abortion after six to eight weeks of pregnancy. This is also known as the heartbeat bill because at this point in the pregnancy a doctor can typically detect a heartbeat. The downside of this restriction is that most women don’t know if they are pregnant at this point in time, so if they went to see if they are pregnant and are six to eight weeks along they would not have the option to an abortion at all.
In Alabama, the strictest law was announced stating that all abortions are banned throughout the state, even in cases of incest and rape. Along with banning abortions, Alabama has also declared performing the act of an abortion would be a felony even if they received the procedure out of state. The governor of Alabama, a woman named Kay Ivey, even compared abortions to mass genocides such as the Holocaust. The law would only allow abortions in cases where the mother’s life is at risk and if the baby would have a stillbirth or pass away quickly after birth. This would challenge the supreme court ruling in Roe V. Wade where they ruled that a woman has a fundamental right to privacy which protects them to decide whether or not to have an abortion.
Although some states have become stricter in regards to abortions, others have loosened the restraints. Oregon became the first state to offer free abortions for women, even illegal immigrants. They follow the Roe V. Wade ruling and believes that it is up to the woman to decide if getting an abortion is the right path for them. While some people would argue that if a woman can’t raise the child themselves they could just put it up for adoption, that is almost a darker path for the child. There are approximately 400,000 kids in foster care and over 100,000 of them are still waiting to get adopted. Most children wait a minimum of three years in foster care and many don’t get adopted at all. If the woman decides to keep the child then her whole life is flipped upside down. The cost of the pregnancy and the countless medical bills can quickly put someone in debt.
During all of this, politicians have been making their stances on abortions clear. Lawrence Lockman, a Republican member of the Maine House of Representatives, stated, “If a woman has [the right to an abortion], why shouldn’t a man be free to use his superior strength to force himself on a woman? At least the rapist’s pursuit of sexual freedom doesn’t [in most cases] result in anyone’s death.” Here Lockman is practically condoning rape. Along with Lockman, Clayton Williams, a Republican who ran for governor of Texas, made his beliefs clear when he said, “Rape is kinda like the weather. If it’s inevitable, relax and enjoy it.”
The takeaway from all of this is that men are still deciding what women can and cannot do. This is one fight that women will not take lightly. My body. My choice.