America is waging a war against women with its anti-abortion bills and it's not pro-life or religious, it's political
The past couple of weeks in the country have been a hotbed of abortion law activity. Just a couple of days ago, Alabama went ahead with its extreme abortion ban bill as 25 Republican men voted their "yea"s and a white female governor signed it into law. Before that, it was Georgia that did the honors, criminalizing abortions after six weeks, the time when the fetus' heartbeat is detected. Yesterday, May 16, the Republican-controlled Senate in Missouri passed a strict anti-abortion bill, which would outlaw the termination of pregnancies from eight weeks, even in cases of rape or incest. As for Florida, Tenessee, and Mississippi, there have been two and more fetal heartbeat bills that have been filed so far.
This makes one wonder, is the United States of America waging a war on women? Women's rights groups definitely think so — so much so, that even organizations that work with a "vision to make abortion unwanted" seem to think this is going too far.
"There are a number of extremist legislators, with well-funded national organizations behind them, that are pushing a very anti-woman agenda. These extremists are going against the majority of Americans who believe in access to safe, legal and affordable abortion. Lawmakers should not be punishing women for exercising their basic reproductive freedoms, and those who do must be voted out of office," National Organization for Women President Toni Van Pelt told MEA WorldWide (MEAWW).
"The authors of the bills themselves admit that they are unconstitutional — that's why they’ve designed them as a vehicle to upend constitutional protections for reproductive health by repealing Roe v. Wade. The laws that have passed or are on their way to being enacted are all designed to attract the attention of a Supreme Court that anti-abortion extremists see as ready, willing and able to overturn Roe," she added.
The Alabama law called the Human Life Protection Act, is, however, the most stringent of them all. The law puts a stop to abortions at every stage of pregnancy and doctors who perform it could be charged with felonies and face up to 99 years in prison. This law also applies to cases of rape and incest.
"A woman who needs abortion care and is denied it is more likely to be trapped in low wage work, an abusive relationship, or unable to finish her education. We hope that the federal court will quickly rule that this law is unconstitutional. It is outrageous that Alabama politicians believe that a woman should have to give birth to her rapist's child," said Executive Director of National Women's Health Network and Co-founder of Raising Women's Voices for the Health Care We Need, Cynthia A. Pearson.
UN Women refused to comment on the law but in a statement said, "In order to be able to exercise their human rights and make these essential decisions, women need to be able to decide freely and responsibly on the number and spacing of their children and to have access to information, education, and services in this regard."
But why are these bills really being passed as laws? Is it just pro-life or religious?
It's political, Van Pelt says.
"These alarming legislative machinations are also part of a calculated and well-funded national effort to drum up political support in upcoming elections for very conservative, anti-abortion, anti-woman and anti-democratic candidates who will vote to further powerful wealthy interests. Meanwhile, women’s health, autonomy and their right to the pursuit of happiness are under serious threat."
Sara Hutchinson Ratcliffe, Vice President of Catholics for Choice further supports her statement. "There is not one single or official Catholic opinion on when life begins. Throughout the Catholic tradition, scholars, saints, and ordinary Catholics have had differing beliefs about when a developing life becomes a person. There is no doubt, however, that our Catholic faith teaches that a woman is a person with rights, responsibilities and a conscience that must guide her to make the best decision for herself in light of her circumstance and beliefs," she clarifies.
"There can be no debate—from either the church or the state—about whether a woman is a person, a moral agent. She must be able and encouraged to make the decision that is right for her about whether and when to have a child. Truly, she is the only one who can make the right decision for herself and her family."
Heartbeat International, who mention that their mission is to make abortions "unthinkable in the future" also said that irrespective of what the decision is, they will continue to aid women and their pregnancy options. "As an organization, our job is to serve women and communities. Our work, no matter how many "heartbeat bills" pass and whether or not Roe v. Wade is overturned, does not change. We are here to provide women with information on all their pregnancy options and support them in whichever choices they make. Until our vision is achieved, we will continue to work."
The future for women's rights in America looks like a terrifying road that leads to a dark reality where they have no say in anything at all.