Abortion laws intensify

New Alabama ruling causes uproar on social media


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Abortion rights activists rally in front of the Supreme Court in Washington on May 21, 2019. New increasingly strict laws throughout the country have been prompting more and more protests.

Jane Elkins, Editorials Editor

Abortion has been a hot topic on everyone’s social media feeds after a bill was signed by Alabama Governor Kay Ivey on Wed. May 15. The law prohibited abortions in almost every circumstance and is now considered the most restrictive abortion law in the country. The legislation only makes exceptions only for the health of the mother and for fetuses with “fatal anomalies” that make them unlikely to survive outside the womb. Rape and incest are not exceptions to Alabama’s ban.

Along with Alabama, lawmakers in Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, and many other Republican-controlled states have passed new anti-abortion bills that all have a similar undertone of no tolerance even for extreme circumstances. The laws have prompted questions about whether women and doctors who have abortions should be punished on accounts of murder. It’s not really surprising that people all over the country have had heated debates on social media.

“My feed has been flooded with abortion-related posts.” Freshman Elizabeth Chichester said, “It’s a lot to bear, but I’m glad that people are having the conversation.”

Since the Roe v. Wade ruling in 1973, abortion has been a safe and legal option for women who have had an unwanted pregnancy. Before however, women would frequently try to induce abortions by using coat hangers, knitting needles, or radiator flush, or by going to unsafe “back-alley” abortionists.

Even today, statistics from other countries that have not yet legalized abortion have shown that abortion restrictions won’t reduce the number of abortions that take place. In fact, in those same countries, according to the Center of Disease Control, botched abortions account for about 8 to 11 percent of all maternal deaths, or about 30,000 each year.

Another aspect to consider is the women who attempt to perform their own abortion and they are taken to the hospital with complications, they might be reported to the authorities and face jail time. This creates even more fear and in turn more deaths.

All this just comes to show that people will have abortions regardless of what the law says. Preventing women and girls from accessing an abortion does not mean they stop needing one. That’s why attempts to ban or restrict abortions do nothing to reduce the number of abortions, it only forces people to seek out unsafe abortions. The only thing that restricting and criminalizing abortions does is make them less safe.

Additionally, what many people are oblivious too is the fact most states already have very restricted rules on abortions.

First off, abortion has been legal since Roe v. Wade but states have the ability to restrict it to whatever degree they would like. The majority of states require clinics to not give abortions after 13-24 weeks, only provide public funding for abortions in cases of endangerment, rape or incest and requires that a woman must receive mandatory counseling before undergoing an abortion.

Abortion clinics are also few and far between in many southern states. In states like Alabama, there are only three abortion clinics in the entire state.
Whether you are pro-choice or pro-life, a lawmaker’s main concern should be keeping the public safe, not focusing on political or religious beliefs. Access to legal, professionally-performed abortions reduces maternal injury and death caused by unsafe, illegal abortions. It shouldn’t matter whether or not you believe it’s morally right, you should put your ignorance aside and focus on what really matters.