22 Jun Abortion Bill- Moving Backwards in the 21st Century?
America, the land of freedom.
The first thought that pops into our heads when anyone mentions the USA, one of the most progressive countries of the world. In fact, the first wave of feminism which began with the Seneca Falls Convention was held at the Wesleyan Chapel in Seneca Falls, New York. Over the years, the country was home to various movements of feminism which inspired women across the world to voice their opinion and take a stand for themselves. All these movements had diverse and crucial agenda ranging from social, personal to political rights.
But despite the struggle that women have been through in the previous decades, the current laws instead of contributing towards creating a more balanced society is working backward resulting in an orthodox and repressive society. The abortion law passed in the six conservative states is proof that we have a long battle to fight.
The Fetal Heartbeat Bill:
A bill called fetal heartbeat has been passed by the six states of Mississippi, Kentucky, Ohio, and Georgia, Alabama, and Louisiana. The bill states that women cannot terminate their pregnancy after six weeks. More specifically, after the detection of “embryonic or fetal cardiac activity” which usually happens after six weeks of pregnancy. If you are wondering why this is an important concern, then there are instances that women are unable to even detect if they are pregnant until six weeks. This eliminates the opportunity to have the time to identify and consider what should be the next step.
Called as one of the most extreme abortion bans in the country it does not only restrict the reproductive rights of a female but it also states that women getting illegal abortions can be subjected to life imprisonment or the death penalty.
One of the most traumatizing aspects of the bill is that women subjected to rape and incest will also not be allowed to have an abortion. In fact, women traveling from one state to another where abortion is legal to terminate their pregnancy will be charged with murder. This again has a drastic impact as a lot of women would gather resources to travel to a different state to get an abortion legally. Another aspect which is drastically overlooked is that there is already a considerable amount of women electing the option of unhealthy and unsafe abortion which has the potential to be life-threatening, but with this rule, they cannot even pursue a safe choice which does not hamper their well being.
Whereas women who have miscarriages due to the consumption of drugs will be also considered liable to second-degree murder, where they can be imprisoned for a period of 10 to 30 years. Women who have miscarried will be questioned by the authorities to investigate the authenticity of the situation and if they can be held responsible for the murder of the fetus. This is not only insensitive but also unacceptable for any woman to go through. Not only are they mourning their loss but to prove your innocence is very terrifying and traumatizing. Even as a society we fail to understand the mental and emotional pain that comes with miscarriages, and such a law can only add to the disturbed state of mind.
Moreover according to the new law doctor performing abortions will be considered felons and can be imprisoned up to 99 years. Doctors through various generations have been a pillar for women in such drastic situations. But if the government imposes such situations then every doctor will constantly hesitate in times of need. This curbs their freedom to take any step towards the creation of a safe and healthy society.
Before the implementation of these laws, the historical decision of the Supreme Court of Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in all 50 states was implemented across all the states. This rule was a benchmark that was constantly supporting women and their rights. But while different governors are challenging it and trying to overrun it tells us that dark times lay ahead.
From all the conditions and regulations mentioned in the bill, it is evident that the US government is being blind and inconsiderate towards such crucial decisions related to women rights. This bill is breaching various intense levels of the personal, emotional, social and mental wellbeing of every woman. Clearly, these rules are written by men who are not aware of the functioning of the female anatomy and if they do, they are clearly being ignorant and trying to control every aspect of female reproductive rights.
What they fail to understand that having a baby involves a huge responsibility dictated by personal and social spheres of human life. The responsibility of being healthy and taking care of an unborn child while ensuring you have the social and financial security after the birth of a baby is drastic and unexplainable. It cannot be satiated even if the government tries to provide any support. If we are still going to fight to get our rights to reproduce in the 21st century, where we are aware of the current status of our society and consider ourselves a “woke” generation then we have a long journey to create a society where men and women are equal.