Thursday, October 21, 2021

EDITORIAL: Lawmakers must stop limiting reproductive rights

Abortion access and women’s healthcare is under siege in Texas. The state has become a battleground over a basic women’s reproductive right; the right to choose when to become a mother. 

Texas’ new law prohibits abortions after cardiac activity is detected, which usually occurs after the sixth week of pregnancy. This is fairly early in the pregnancy, which is why limiting abortion access for women can be detrimental for their health and safety. The law also does not have any space for pregnancies that are a result from rape and incest. That means if a woman gets pregnant by a rapist or someone in their family, they are forced to birth the child. This notion is beyond disturbing, it’s truly barbaric. 

Women who face the decision whether to continue a pregnancy due to physical risk do not have the right to an abortion in Texas. These women who face a higher risk of carrying a stillborn child could go without the trauma of going into labor knowing their child won’t be alive when they are delivered. Lawmakers seem not to care.

Would it be too difficult for lawmakers to care about the women they think they are “defending,” or is it just a political ploy to push their religious agenda? 

Texas isn’t the only state in recent years to introduce “heartbeat” laws limiting abortion. States like Georgia, Mississippi, Kentucky and Ohio all have similar bills. The window that women can obtain an abortion is about the same, which contradicts what Roe v. Wade set as the legal limit for abortion. That limit is at 24 weeks. 

In response to the ban, which went into effect Sept. 1, protestors took to the streets. Signs reading the infamous moniker, “my body, my choice,” littered the state capitol in Austin. This called for the Women’s March organization to plan a march for Oct. 2. The march will take place all around the United States in hopes to stand up for women’s reproductive rights.

The United States Supreme Court got involved as a response to the outcry of public hate, but they refused to block the abortion law. Four of the chief justices dissented the decision, while five claimed the majority vote. Without Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, women’s reproductive rights are diminishing with more conservative views on the court. 

Abortion will forever divide the already divided nation. Women deserve to have reproductive freedom in the United States. No one should be forced to start a family, no matter the reason. Women’s reproductive rights are human rights. If you don’t have a uterus, you don’t deserve an opinion. 

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