You might have heard about the recent abortion-related bills that have been either proposed or passed throughout the country. These bills resulted in nation-wide protests either directly on the streets or throughout social media. Protesters are arguing that these laws are infringing upon the rights of women to choose to terminate their pregnancies. Governments should not have the legal authority to make such personal and life-altering choices for women. It is important to be politically informed on how strict these laws are. Apart from this blog-post, I would argue that much more research is required.
What started off the national outrage is the passing of the HB314 bill in Alabama on May 14. This bill outlaws nearly all abortions, including cases of pregnancy by rape and incest. The only exception to this law is in cases when the mother's life is in danger. HB314 also criminalized abortion for both the doctors and the patients. Both can be sentenced up to 99 years in prison. A significant aim of HB314 is that it directly challenges the Roe v. Wade precedence that has kept abortion legal for 40 years. Unfortunately, with the current conservative leanings of the Supreme Court, the Roe v. Wade precedence has a possibility of being overturned
Other conservative states have also passed similar bills that ban abortion at the moment that a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is typically around 6 weeks into pregnancy. This bill has been passed in Iowa, Ohio, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Georgia. Currently there are only six states that have one abortion clinic left: Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota and West Virginia. A final note is that the none of bills passed in the states mentioned have gone into effect yet, meaning that abortion is still legal in those states.
It seems that we are undoing much our progression, especially as women's rights are concerned. So, what can you do? Activists and allies now have the crucial opportunity to protest against these intrusive laws by joining those who have already been dedicated to repealing these laws, calling upon senators, and supporting organizations that are pro-choice like Planned Parenthood. Much change is needed, and it starts with you!