Abortion: My Body, My Right

As many of you are aware over the past week the hot topic has been surrounding the issue of abortion. Abortion is defined as ‘the ending of a pregnancy by removal or expulsion of an embryo or foetus before it can survive outside the uterus.’ Throughout time this issue has been raised again and again and for many, has been a controversial topic. Recently this issue has risen again in America and has caused an upheaval of debate with the law saying one thing and the people demanding another. If you haven’t heard about this issue that is dividing America get out from under the rock you’re living in and pay attention to this because it may affect you sooner than you think!

The right to an abortion in the US was took place in1973 through the U.S. Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade. This allowed access to a safe and legal abortion and made it a constitutional right in all 50 states. However, over the past week we have witnessed this court case being overturned throughout some states in America.

One of the biggest changes that shocked many, and has been debated many times in my household, is the legislation passed by Alabama. Governor Kay Ivey signed into law an abortion bill that could punish doctors with 99 years in prison for performing an abortion. She claims that the law is based on the ‘deeply held belief that every life is precious and that every life is a sacred gift from God.’ The bill has been said to be the ‘most restrictive abortion law in the country.’ From the punishment that has been proposed with it I’m not surprised. There are some exceptions for an abortion in this bill, one being the health of the mother and the other for foetuses with ‘fatal anomalies’ which could mean they are unable to survive outside of the womb. However, this is not all; the thing which has caused major uproar in my household is the fact that incest and rape are not included as exceptions. In fact Eric Johnston who is both the head of the Alabama Pro-life coalition and someone who helped draft the initial legislation claimed that the attempt to exempt rape and incest victims, it would upend the law’s legal standing. He claims ‘regardless of how the conception takes place, the product is a child… that unborn child is a person entitled to protection to the law’ and went onto say that whether that child is conceived through these means ‘it would be impossible to ask a judge which of these is protected by the law and which is not.’

It is shocking to see firstly that the crime of an abortion exceeds the crimes, such as rape, which is the reason behind the situation. And secondly, going back to Eric Johnston’s claim, it is not a matter of fact about the child’s protection, but rather the harmful impact on the mother for having to carry their rapist’s baby to term. In this case I agree with Senate Vivian Figures who argues in the cases of rape these people passing these laws do not have to carry, birth and raise this child, and yet they ‘want to make that decision for that woman, that that’s what she has to do;’ while the new laws are protecting these foetuses’ they’re simultaneously failing to protect the mothers at the same time.

Alabama is not the only state to make the news surrounding abortion. This so-called ‘heartbeat’ bill seems to be sweeping through America. Georgia’s Governor Brian Kemp on the 14th of May signed a Bill that banned abortions is a foetal heartbeat can be detected causing abortions to be banned as early as 6 weeks into the pregnancy, which is when many women realise they are pregnant and a doctor who attempts an abortion faces the repercussions of up to 10 years in prison. Dr. Krystal Redman, who is the executive director of Spark Reproductive Justice Now, says ‘it’s basically a forced pregnancy bill. It’s a health care ban bill.’ Furthermore, Governor Phil Bryant of Mississippi signed a ‘heartbeat’ bill in March with exceptions to prevent a woman’s death or a serious risk of impairment, but this like Alabama does not include rape or incest and that bill passed on the 18th of May which prohibits abortions 8 weeks after pregnancy.

Overall, I do not think it is in any shape or form acceptable that a woman’s body is something that belongs to the law. No one knows what she’s feeling or going through in her pregnancy, and therefore, I strongly disagree that other than the people who are involved, no one else should have any right to impose or even suggest what to do let alone force the decision for them. It takes away the woman’s right to her body; she becomes an object to the state.

With all this in mind…

What do you think?

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