By: Kiana Zahedi
In a controversial turn of events, many states are passing abortion and “heartbeat bills”, which are bills that ban or restricts abortion for upcoming mothers. These bills are some of the most restrictive in US history, and are causing a national debate on women’s rights.
During the month of March, both Mississippi and Kentucky passed heartbeat bills, which are bills that ban abortion after a heartbeat is detected in the fetus. While addressing the bill, Mississippi’s governor Phil Bryant stated, “The heartbeat has been the universal hallmark of life since man’s very beginning.”
After these laws were passed, more states began to push to restrict or prohibit abortions. Georgia, Ohio, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Illinois, New York, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia have either signed a bill into place, or are currently going through the legislative process to do so.
On Wednesday, Alabama passed the most confining and widely discussed laws that the nation has ever seen. Alabama’s abortion law stated that abortion would be a Class A felony, and attempted abortion would be a Class C felony. The doctor performing the abortion would have to face up to 99 years in jail, and there are no exceptions for rape or incest.
After Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed this bill, many spoke up. Thousands have protested this week, and even President Donald Trump has voiced his concerns with this law. He states, “As most people know, and for those who would like to know, I am strongly Pro-Life, with three exceptions – rape, incest, and protecting the life of the mother…”.
Planned Parenthood also spoke up on the issue, with CEO Staci Fox stating, “Today is a dark day for women in Alabama and across the country. Banning abortion is horrible… We will take this to court and ensure abortion remains safe and legal and accessible in the state of Alabama.”
The overarching goal of these bills however, is to overturn the 1973 landmark decision, Roe v. Wade. Roe v Wade was a Supreme Court decision that stated that women had a “right to privacy” and could ultimately decide whether to have an abortion or not.
Although these past few days have been filled with talk about the future of our country under these laws and its effect in society, this battle is just beginning. Only time can tell what will happen to these laws.