We live in a country that is now more divided than ever, and in the recent months we have seen one issue that has riled up both sides into bitter feud; that issue is abortion.
This year alone, at least nine states have introduced or signed some form a legislature that would limit or outright ban abortions, severely infringing on the rights women have over their own bodies.
On May 7 Georgia’s governor Brian Kemp signed House Bill 481, making it illegal for women to have an abortion as soon as a fetal heartbeat is detected, which usually happens before a woman even knows she is pregnant.
This type of bill is known as a heartbeat bill, and other states like Kentucky, Mississippi and Ohio have all signed their own version.
The passing of these recent bills has sparked a debate around the country about women’s reproductive rights and brought a proposed bill from Texas, into the spotlight.
Currently in Texas all third trimester abortions are banned with a few exceptions such as severe abnormalities in a fetus or if the mother’s health and wellbeing is at risk. On May 7 the Senate passed S.B. 1033, if signed into effect the bill would remove these exceptions making it illegal for a woman suffering from these complications to get an abortion.
The bill would still allow abortions in emergency situations, but it may force women to endure a potentially traumatic or harmful birth.
Regardless of which bill you look at they all have a common issue, which is a blatant disregard for how a woman’s body works and the emotional rollercoaster that comes along for some women when baring a child.While the bill proposed in Texas may seem to be more tolerant it can still cause a woman much unneeded pain.
Forcing a woman to carry a child that will not survive after birth making her prolong her suffering, something that can be especially difficult for women suffering from depression or other mental health issues.Situations like the ones that can happen in Texas are especially heartbreaking, often these are women that want to become mothers but don’t want themselves or their child to endure any more pain.
While laws like the ones being proposed here can have a devastating impact, the more egregious are the heartbeat bills that severely limit a woman’s choices very early on in a pregnancy.A factor that upsets many is that fact that some heartbeat bills such as Georgia’s does not offer exception in situations such as incest or rape.
These are obviously the most extreme cases but even the average woman should be able to have an abortion regardless of her reasoning. As mention earlier there is a problem with our lawmakers not understanding women’s bodies, they seem to not understand that a pregnancy can be dangerous for a woman, or that even knowing you’re pregnant can sometimes be difficult.
Lawmakers don’t seem to know that missing a period is sometimes normal, they don’t seem to realize how easy it is to forget a pill or that condoms break sometimes. They don’t know what it’s like to be a modern woman with no desire to have children, a single mother that knows she can’t afford another child or a mentally ill woman barely capable of caring for herself, let alone a child.
A lot of people may claim that a solution to these problems is adoption however the system in place for adoption or foster care is broken and has the potential to cause more pain. While many families may seek a child to adopt the process of is difficult and costly.
Adoption agencies often refuse non-traditional families such as single parents and gay couples. New technology and practices such as in vitro fertilization and surrogacy have become a more desirable option for many people seeking a child. Some people head to countries with little regulations on adoption, leaving many American children in the hands of the foster care system.
According to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) just under 70,000 children are in the foster care system hoping to be adopted as of 2017. More than half of these children have been waiting for two or more years, this is concerning because according to the HHS it is much less likely for a child to be adopted after being in care for just over a year.
Foster care is far from an ideal situation for a growing child, some children are forced to live in an unstable environment moving from place to place, others face neglect or abuse at the hand of their foster parents. Many women, especially those that have experienced the system themselves can not live with the idea of forcing yet another child into it.
These and many more are all legitimate reason, yet again, those reasons should not matter. Anything that happens with a woman’s body should be hers to control, and as long as a fetus is still inside a mother, it is her choice. Many defend these bills to the bitter end; some see it as simply defending life while others site their faith and biblical verses as reasons to support these laws.
Yet, religion is a personal choice and not something we should push on others; it’s a value that our country was founded on. Luckily none of the bills that have been signed have gone into effect, and it believed that many of these bills will be shot down due to the supreme court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade, making abortion a personal matter that it protected by ones “right to privacy.”
In the end we are facing a situation where old white men in suits are trying to control the bodies of a diverse variety of women they know nothing about, and it’s time to make sure they know that they cannot choose for us.