Hands off my Uterus

Abortion+protest

https://www.freep.com/story/news/politics/2019/05/21/abortion-rights-supporters-rally-cities-stop-bans/3756182002/

Watsyn Tibbetts, Staff Reporter

Nearly a fourth of women in America will have an abortion by age 45. Every day, people across the United States make deeply personal decisions about their pregnancies. Those decisions deserve respect,” said Planned Parenthood. We are in the 21st century; we should be moving forward, accepting and allowing citizens to be who they are, and giving them the ability to choose what they want. However, I feel like that progress is receding. Recently in certain states there have been laws getting passed that take away certain rights that people should be allowed to have.

Abortion: a long-standing, sticky, and controversial topic. Revolving around a woman’s body and what she decides to do with it. However, the irony of it is that most of the constraints of the subject were dictated by men. 

Let’s take a look at the history of abortion. It has always been a controversial subject, but in 1973, women’s voices were

Roe vs Wade protest
https://www.redefy.org/stories/attacks-on-roe-v-wade-threaten-nationwide-reproductive-rights

finally heard and the topic of abortion reached the Supreme Court. The case is called Roe v Wade, which gave women the right to have access to an abortion up to the first trimester (1-12 weeks). After that, then it’s up to the individual state on how to handle abortion.

That law is now under attack. 

Just this week at the national level a Supreme Court memo got leaked saying that Roe v Wade will likely be overturned. This has huge implications because the states will be able to control women’s access to abortion.

Texas, in particular, has been adopting repulsive policies. Making abortion illegal after six weeks, with no exception for rape or incest victims.  

Six weeks is a sliver of time for a woman to even realize that she is pregnant. Healthcare professionals say that, “the first day of your last period marks the beginning of the first week of pregnancy. By the very first day of your missed period, you’re already considered four weeks pregnant. Yes, even though conception only happened two weeks earlier,” according to Healthline. Not to mention the time it would take to get an appointment for an abortion.

Texas also condones and encourages any citizen to expose someone that has had an abortion after six weeks. If they do that, they get a reward of 10,000 dollars. Other states have followed in the footsteps of Texas, such as Missouri, which specifically banned abortion after eight weeks. The kicker is that they have the right to investigate miscarriages and doctors can be sentenced up to fifteen years in prison. 

This law also has no exemption for rape or incest along with an ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy is where the egg is fertilized outside of the uterus. If it is left to grow it may damage nearby organs and cause life-threatening blood loss. 

Is that pro-life? Do they just disregard a woman’s health once she is pregnant? A lot of political figures have been

Kevin Stitt
Kevin Stitt, the governor of Oklahoma

persistent on overturning Roe v Wade. 

People with the most influence on the Texas abortion law have been State Sens. Bryan Hughes, Nathan Johnson and Gov. Greg Abott, – all cis white men. 

The law that he made is what he calls the “heartbeat bill” and an abundance of medical professionals disagree with this statement. For example, Dr. Nisha Verma, a physician who provides abortion services and a fellow at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, said that the activity measured on an ultrasound in early gestation is electrical impulses, not a true heartbeat. 

“When I use the stethoscope to listen to a patient’s heart, that sound that I hear is that typical bum-bum-bum-bum that you hear as the heartbeat is created by the opening and closing of the cardiac valves,” Verma said, “And at six weeks of gestation, those valves don’t exist.’

Abortion statistics
https://fullerproject.org/story/how-major-abortion-laws-compare-state-by-state-map/

Very recently Oklahoma adopted the same laws as Texas. Men continue to keep their foot on the gas. “A recent study from the Texas Policy Evaluation Project at the University of Texas Austin found that of the 1,500 women that traveled out of state every month to receive abortion since September, 45% visited Oklahoma” said ABC News.

This means that the women who are unable to access an abortion in Texas flee to Oklahoma but now they can’t do that anymore. Thinking of it makes my stomach wrench. Once again this law was dictated by and encouraged by a white man- Kevin Stitt. 

White cis men will most likely never have to face having their rights stripped away from them. Imagine if they were forced to get a vasectomy. There would be so much unrest in society, but people don’t even bat an eye when it comes to women’s rights. 

This is just the tip of the iceberg in what women’s rights could be if we continue down this path. We deserve and are owed so much more from society that we are given and things need to change. Ruth Bader Guinsberg once said, “I ask no favor for my sex. All I ask of our brethren is that they take their feet off our necks.”

 

Sources:

https://fullerproject.org/story/how-major-abortion-laws-compare-state-by-state-map/ 

https://www.freep.com/story/news/politics/2019/05/21/abortion-rights-supporters-rally-cities-stop-bans/3756182002/ 

https://www.axios.com/texas-abortion-ban-effect-f41bef97-09ac-4062-a933-d435a7e892d4.html 

https://www.redefy.org/stories/attacks-on-roe-v-wade-threaten-nationwide-reproductive-rights