The reproductive rights of women across America are being threatened as Republican lawmakers continue to pass legislation restricting abortion, creating such strong limits on abortion access that some states have nearly reached a total ban on the procedure.
Laws in both Mississippi and Texas have placed extreme restrictions on abortion with the most severe being in Texas, where bans on abortion limit access after just six weeks of pregnancy.
The Texas Law, referred to as the Texas Heartbeat Act or the Heartbeat Bill, bans abortion after the detection of a fetal heartbeat.
“A physician may not knowingly perform or induce an abortion on a pregnant woman unless the physician has determined whether the woman’s unborn child has a detectable fetal heartbeat,” the bill states.
The obvious bias in this bill is apparent with language such as “Unborn Child” showing the lawmakers’ clear attempt to appeal to those who consider themselves to be pro life.
The Texas Heartbeat Bill restricts abortion to a point so early in pregnancy that most women are unaware they are even pregnant, meaning by the time they have their first positive pregnancy test it would already be too late for an abortion. Restricting abortion too such a drastic degree threatens the lives of women and not only violates their right to bodily autonomy but threatens their constitutional rights put in place by Roe V. Wade.
The Supreme Court is set to determine if the restrictions put in place by the Mississippi Senate bill are constitutional, a hearing that could forever change the precedent set by Roe V. Wade. If the Supreme Court, which currently has a republican majority, decides the abortion bill is constitutional then states would be given the right to restrict abortion even further.
Denying women access to a safe abortions forces them to either carry out an unwanted pregnancy causing both emotional and physical trauma or resort to unsafe abortion methods.
The laws in Mississippi and Texas are a frightening reminder of the importance of abortion rights and bodily autonomy. The fight over control of women’s reproductive rights affects every woman in the United States and creates unimaginable hardships for women in underserved communities
“I believe that the Supreme Court’s decision to review these laws are a call to action to Congress, politicians, and every resident that believes in individual freedom. This call to action is necessary to consider because it forces us to become conscious of the economic and racial influences that made politicians once again decide for women what to do with their bodies,” said Mirian Palacios, President of PCC’s Third Wave Intersectional Feminism Club.
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