Several states have recently passed laws banning abortions past six-weeks of pregnancy, and people have reason to be afraid.
Just over a week ago, Georgia signed a bill banning abortions once a fetal heartbeat was detected. While abortion in and of itself is not technically illegal in these states, the restrictions in place have essentially made it so. Fetal heartbeats are usually detected during the six-week pregnancy mark, a point in time during which most are unaware of their pregnancy.
However, a new ruling in Alabama looks to take things further.
The state’s legislature of the strictest abortion law, the country would stray away from the gradual strategy most states have taken over the years in their six-week ban approach. Instead, the state has passed a bill that would ban all abortions in the state – no exceptions made being made for cases of rape or incest. While patients getting the abortion will not face any criminal charges, penalties include up to ninety-nine years of incarceration for doctors performing the procedure.
Alabama state Rep. Terri Collins said at a press conference regarding the matter:
I would say that we’re all very pleased to have this done [. . .] We’re excited about the possibilities that it could mean. It’s been difficult at times, and then at times it’s been really good. I felt really good about it all the way through.
Heated discussions concerning abortion are not foreign to the United States. The issue remains one of the benchmarks of political controversy and debate, with virtually the same amount of “pro-choice” and “pro-life” supporters, according to a poll by Statista.
The Alabama law would drive the Roe v. Wade case to the Supreme Court once again, and other states, including Missouri, are quickly proving themselves to be following suit.
Most Republicans in support of this new law seek to legally challenge Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion throughout the country.
The ruling’s main argument was that the Constitution includes an implied general right to privacy and, by extension, the liberty of pregnant individuals to have autonomy over their own bodies without legal interference. By this, it can be said that the US congress would be unconstitutional in passing a law against abortion.
One may argue that a lack of action taken towards establishing a cohesive jurisprudence that determine personhood goes to show a lack of consideration of due process. After all, exceptions made for particular circumstances, such as rape and incest, existed even before the 1973 court decision. Why are they only being taken away now?
The role the government should be allowed to have in legislating what a woman can do with her body and the definition of life has always been arbitrary. Discussions are becoming more crucial than ever.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not reflect the stance TheWorker takes on this issue. TheWorker seeks to include as many perspectives possible regarding even the most controversial subject matters.