The History & Future of Abortion Laws in the United States

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The History & Future of Abortion Laws in the United States

Melanie Justiniano, Reporter

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“Abortions cannot just be theoretically legal, it has to be literally accessible.”

– John Oliver

Recently Alabama passed a bill that bans abortions, unless it is fatal to the mother or fetus. Basically, if the fetus cannot survive outside the womb, abortion is acceptable. This bill also states that neither rape nor incest are exceptions. If a woman finds herself in either of those misfortunate circumstances, she is forced to keep the child. On top of this, although women are exempt from criminally liability, doctors who administer abortions, can face up to 99 years in prison due to this medical procedure. This bill is as far-right as they could come, but Alabama isn’t the only state under speculation for its’ abortion laws.

Recently Missouri band abortions at 8 weeks, and similar to Alabama, the bill does not excuse rape nor incest.  Georgia is the next state that is under fire after passing their “heartbeat bill,” that bans abortions at six weeks because a ‘heartbeat’ could be detected.  Six weeks is two weeks after a missed period, and during this two-week period, women generally, aren’t aware that they are pregnant. Now, before you say, “How could they not know they’re pregnant if they missed their period,” you clearly know nothing about a woman’s menstrual cycle or her body. Periods could be disrupted by many factors that include stress, obesity, and new medications. This disruption delays the cycle and makes women unaware of their pregnancy. Secondly, at six weeks the embryo’s heart isn’t fully developed. The ultrasound just shows electric activity where an embryo is beginning to develop a heart. Most OB/GYN classify it like a heartbeat, due to the sound created, but for there to be a proper heartbeat, the heart needs to be fully developed. These facts debunk Georgia’s ‘heartbeat bill’.  Lastly, Georgia requires women who have miscarried to prove that they did not get an illegal abortion. As if miscarriages aren’t traumatic enough, now they have to prove that it was a genuine miscarriage.

The Different Agendas:

The pro-choice agenda supports a woman’s right to choose whether or not they should get an abortion. People often stigmatize the pro-choice agenda to be pro-abortion. Again, those who are pro-choice believe it it is a woman’s right to choose what happens to their bodies, rather than wanting women to get abortions. It isn’t the same thing, which people confuse. The pro-choice agenda also believes that life begins at birth. The pro-life agenda believes that life begins as soon as the egg is fertilized. Many pro-life politicians have been passing bills that either restrict or ban abortions. To debunk the pro-life agenda, one can simply state that all of our cells are alive, sperm cells, egg cells, are live prior to fertilization. These abortion laws are meant to oppress women and their rights.

Misogyny in the laws:

Public misogyny has grown in the past few years as a result of the Trump Administration, the proof is in their laws. These laws are being passed, because Trump managed to appoint 30 conservative federal judges, on top of two conservative Supreme Court Justices.  Only women in G.O.P states are being burdened by children they do not want, no matter how tragic their circumstances are. None of these laws require men to be present in the child’s life, care for the child, or help the woman in any way. On top of these bans, state legislatures have previously created strict requirements forcing clinics to shut down. The issue doesn’t just attack a woman’s constitutional right, but prevents them from having access to clinics to perform the medical procedure. In the end, women should not only have the RIGHT to have abortions, but have ACCESS to get them.

The History of Roe v Wade (1973)

Roe v Wade (1973) established that women having safe and legal abortions is a constitutional right, protected by the 14th Amendment’s Due Process Clause. The Due Process Clause protects fundamental freedoms that are not explicitly stated in the Bill of Rights, this includes our right to privacy. Roe v Wade specifically states that states can only intervene if the woman is passed the first trimester, because after the first-trimester abortion can be fatal to the mother (the first trimester is approximately 13 weeks). All the bills recently passed do not comply with the case’s standards, and they should be declared unconstitutional immediately.
Prior to Roe v Wade, a lot of states allowed abortions in cases of incest and rape. Prior to Roe, abortions still occurred, however, they were unsafe because they were not professionally done. In fact, 1 in 6 pregnancy-related deaths were caused by unsafe abortions. Today abortions are the safest medical procedure in the United States. Attempting to overturn Roe, and further banning abortions, just leads women to get dangerous ones. Making them illegal, doesn’t mean they will not occur. Instead of our society learning from the past, we are going back-in-time with our laws. The Supreme Court needs to defend a woman’s constitutional right to privacy, and their right to choose.

Sex Culture & The Foster Care System

Now for the argument, “If they don’t want to get pregnant, why are they having sex?” One you’re completely disregarding rape, and two you are no better than the policy-makers interfering with women’s right. Sex culture is not what it was years ago, only people who are highly devoted to religion, believe that sex is only for childbearing. The majority of the American population is secular and believes that sex isn’t just for having children. That concept is completely outdated and should not be an argument against abortions. On top of that, why people have sex isn’t anyone’s business except those having consensual sex. Secondly, you might be wondering, “Why don’t they just put the child up for adoption?” Well the foster care/adoption system is extremely flawed. According to childrensrights.org, “In 2017, more than 690,00 children spent time in the U.S foster care.” The website continues to state that there are approximately 443,00 children in foster care on a given day, and children can remain 2-5+ years in state care before being adopted. To further rebuke this argument, 23,00 children ‘age out’ of the foster care system annually, and 20% of those who age out, immediately become homeless. Rather than adding children to these statistics, abortions prevent that. According to plannedparenthood.org,73% of the population is against overturning Roe, because it states that the right to choose is a constitutional right.  Therefore, the Supreme Court needs to declare these new laws unconstitutional, and protect Roe v Wade. It is what the majority of the American people want.

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