The internet has been on fire in the weeks following new legislation that basically bans abortion. But the news circulating around social media about these abortion bans is getting muddled. Here’s the truth.
Alabama has the most restrictive abortion ban that does not allow for typical exceptions such as rape or incest. The law does however allow an exception in cases where the mother’s life is at risk. It makes it a felony for doctors in Alabama to perform or even attempt to perform an abortion.
Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio have all attempted to pass heartbeat bills that would ban abortions once a heartbeat can be detected. Federal judges in Kentucky and Mississippi have blocked the bill, while no such action has happened in Georgia and Ohio.
Indiana and North Dakota have banned a common abortion procedure called dilation and evacuation, or D and C, often used when a miscarriage occurs.
Tennessee passed a trigger law that would make abortions illegal in the state should Roe v. Wade be overturned. Many other states are also considering a similar law.
A handful of others have restricted how far along a woman can be when she can legally get an abortion. In Utah, abortions are banned after 18 weeks. Texas banned abortions after 20 weeks and Missouri banned abortion after 8 weeks.
To top it all off, for those living in Missouri, the last clinic that performs abortions in the state is at risk of closing. Think about that. Only one clinic in the whole state that provided abortions to begin with. Now these women have to find alternatives.
Another controversial law that has made headlines is HB 481 in Georgia that states a fetus should be treated as a full person from the moment it is conceived. It adds that they deserve full legal recognition.
The scary part about the wording is that it could allow doctors and women to be punished if a miscarriage occurs. It’s being said this law is more to punish doctors, however there is a history of women facing legal ramifications after suffering a miscarriage.
It’s important to know that most of these laws have not taken effect yet. Abortion is still legal in all 50 states. Organizations such as the ACLU and Planned Parenthood have taken many of these states to court over these laws.
It’s amazing these organizations, and many others working for women’s rights, are willing to take these states to court. But it is a bit unsettling for the mere fact that if any of these laws made it to the Supreme Court, it would give the bench an opportunity to re-analyze Roe v. Wade. While they have had the opportunity to review Roe v. Wade, and make changes to it in the past, this has yet to happen.
Even if you don’t live in one of these states, you can still do your part. Organizations like Abortion funds, which pay for abortion access for those who cannot afford it themselves. Yellowhammer fund helps those women living in Alabama receive safe care. Groups such as Sister Song, Access Reproductive Care-Southeast, National AsianPacific American women’s forum, and many more are helping women of color and other minority women who will be disproportionately impacted, (more so than they already are when it comes to reproductive rights), if these bans take effect.
Each one of these laws takes away a woman’s choice as to what she does with her body. Not to mention it hurts women in low income, under serviced, and overlooked communities. Missouri is about to lose its last clinic. Restrictions are being made that limit a woman’s option before she even knows she is pregnant.
It’s extremely vital that you call your local representatives and tell them you care about reproductive rights for everyone. Many of these bills being passed were not only written and passed by white men, but also white women. That’s despicable. What a woman does with her body is her choice. No matter her race, ethnicity, religion, social standing. No one, especially people in an already privileged position, have the right to pass laws that have this detrimental impact.
These abortion bans will not stop women from seeking them out. All this will accomplish is forcing women to go through with extremely unsafe alternatives. If stopping abortions was the real reason behind all of these laws, then providing free birth control, and comprehensive sexual education would be a priority.
My heart breaks anytime I see news on these bans and the only thing making it better is the unity that is prominent at the #StopTheBans protests. We can’t stop fighting now and we have to let the politicians passing these laws that we will not take this sitting down. Set news alerts for these abortion bans to stay in the loop. Being educated is the best defense we can use.
Cover image courtesy of Teen Vogue