Womens’ bodies, womens’ choice

Wave of state laws restricting abortion violates womens' rights

A&E editor Ava Aymie writes that new state laws that restrict access to abortion violate womens' rights.

Graphic Lindsey Rodman

A&E editor Ava Aymie writes that new state laws that restrict access to abortion violate womens' rights.

Ava Aymie, A&E Editor

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On Tuesday, May 14, a room of 25 out of 35 members of the Alabama State Senate voted to pass the most oppressive abortion bill in the country. There was not a single female amongst the 25 members that voted in favor of the law, according to CBS News. Twenty-five men voted on a life-changing decision that is irrelevant to their own bodies. Looks like Alabama is not a “sweet home” for women’s rights.

Governor Kay Ivey still signed bill 25-6 into law creating a near total abortion ban. Although a woman herself, she still decided to sign off on a bill that takes away the right of individuals of her own gender.

The new law states that women are forced to carry out a pregnancy, no matter the circumstance, and the only exceptions for abortion are “Only those determined to be necessary to prevent a serious health risk to the unborn child’s mother” according to Alabama state law.  

This means that any female who has become pregnant through rape or incest must go through with giving birth to the baby. I say females rather than women because abortion restriction applies to every girl, despite her age.

Although not as severe as Alabama’s new bill, states such as Ohio, Kentucky, Mississippi, Georgia, Utah and Arkansas are passing abortion restrictions as well. With more and more states taking away a woman’s right to an abortion, which was protected by the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court trial, I fear that more states could start passing laws such as Alabama’s.

According to CBS News, an 11-year-old rape victim will no longer be able to get an abortion because of the “fetal heartbeat law” restrictions in Ohio. Based on the Ohio State Law they are “effectively banning nearly all abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detectable”.  A fetal heartbeat is detected within 6-7 weeks.

When I was 11 I was just learning about “growing and changing” in school, nevermind what sex is and how it works. Now, this 11-year-old victim must go through with this unwanted pregnancy and give birth to her rapist’s child. Since she is so young she could possibly die from carrying the baby to term. In what world is that okay? Oh, wait…Ohio and Alabama.

The Alabama State Law states that committing an abortion is charged as a Class A felony.  This means that if a doctor performed an abortion on a rape victim, they could face up to 99 years in prison. That is more time in prison than the rapist could be charged with, which is about 10 years depending on what class felony it is according to Alabama’s sexual assault laws.

Rather than moving forward, we just went back decades with these new laws restricting abortion. Forcing women to have an unwanted pregnancy is cruel. There are no laws restricting what a man can or cannot do to his body, so why are we forcing laws controlling what women can or cannot do?

Banning abortion won’t get rid of it as a whole, all it does is get rid of safe abortion. In the past, women have found other ways to abort a child and they will find these ways again. According to Planned Parenthood “In 1965, illegal abortions made up one-sixth of all pregnancy-related deaths.” Now that abortion rights are becoming restricted, we can expect to have more illegal abortions which will result in more pregnancy-related deaths.

Men should not be telling women what is right for their bodies. Making laws that limit what a woman can or cannot do to her body is absurd, especially when men seem to be the ones with the most say in it when it comes to passing these restrictive laws. A woman should have the right to do what she pleases with her own body. These new abortion laws are an attack on all women.

Updated on June 4, 2019

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