50 years ago, in 1973, modern feminism had one of its greatest victories – in a case at Supreme Court the right to abortion was ruled constitutional. Since then it seems history has regressed. This Friday, that monumental victory was overturned – because of religious ideology and political motivations – initiating a blitz of consequences upon American economy
Roe vs Wade was a case brought to Supreme Court by Norma McCovey in Texas. At the time 7 of the 9 Supreme Court justices ruled that the ability to get an abortion is a human right. They considered it part of the constitutional right to privacy. The ability to get an abortion at any point in the first trimester was given and having an abortion in the third trimester was made illegal unless for specific circumstances. From the moment of this ruling anti abortionists movements have been fighting constantly to revert history. This ruling was later reaffirmed by Planned Parenthood vs Casey in 1992.
The so called Pro life movement started after Roe V Wade, they called themselves ‘Pro Life’ to highlight how they believed that abortions were a form of murder as they insist that life begins at the conception. Most of this group are led by Catholic Institutions and communities. Quite a bit of their time is spent outside of clinics screaming at women and calling them murderers, as if having to get an abortion was not emotionally abusive enough.
Another large amount of their time is spent operating pregnancy crisis centres disguised as abortion clinics to emotionally ‘counsel’ them against abortions. And they have been doing the best of their abilities to fight against Roe v Wade for 50 years. In 1976 they were able to pass the Hyde amendment, prohibiting the use of federal reserves to go towards abortions, therefore preventing women from receiving abortions on Medicaid.
Read more: Roe v. Wade to Dobbs v. Jackson: Legal reasonings and law making
And in 2011 they were able to pass over 80 different laws within states restricting abortions in multiple ways. In 2019 six states enacted ‘fetal heartbeat bills’. These bills claimed that around 6 weeks into pregnancy a fetal heartbeat can be detected. Health experts informed us that this was medically inaccurate and intentionally misleading. Until 6 weeks of pregnancy it cannot be called a foetus yet, it is only an embryo – a group of cells. And that at 6 weeks there is no heart formed.
The heart will only be developed enough to be heard after around 17 to 20 weeks of pregnancy. Reproductive rights activists called these simply de fact abortion bans as most women are not aware of pregnancy in the first 6 weeks. None of these bills went into effect because of the court. By the end of the month they will all be in effect.
The most immediate effects of this will be towards women. The road that is being taken leads to a dystopian nightmare where women once again no longer have rights and the makings of this nightmare can be seen now. This is an assault on women’s right. This is an assault on their bodily autonomy. Abortion is a human right for women as they are choosing to use their bodies for the next generation. But it seems that for the Conservative party and pro lifers the lives of those women are not important.
In fact it seems that the existence of the embryo has a superior right. This isn’t about the lives of children. This is about controlling women. The same people who will tell you that abortion is murder and that the child you killed could have done great things are the same ones who oppose gun safety. These are the same people who see more and more school shootings in which children die but still scream at you that they have a right to bear arms. Well what about those children.
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They, unlike foetuses, had actually lived. They had memories, feelings, emotions and people who are grieving for them. But they’ll tell you that the right to bear arms is in the constitution. In the constitution it also mentions that people do not have to live their lives according to someone else’s religion. And that they have the right to live without being religious. The Supreme Court has also ruled that being able to have abortions was constitutional and considered part of the right of privacy. Yet Pro lifers would disregard those lives killed and instead focus on what the Bible says.
They will tell you that you don’t understand what you’re doing. That if you’re having an abortion you will feel guilt about it and regret it. That you aren’t fit to make your own decisions about your body. And yet a study called the Turn away study which started in 2007 and asked women at abortion clinics to participate. They compared those that were able to get abortions to those who weren’t. 95 percent of women who had abortions still felt as if they made the right choice 5 years later. A far cry from the one third that apparently will be wracked with guilt following an abortion according to pregnancy crisis centres.
By the end of July at least half of the United States will have passed laws taking away a woman’s right to choose whether or not to have a child. They have reduced women down to vessels for carrying the next generation and nothing more. To the extent that several states are passing laws to punish for abortions. As according to them abortions are murder but the death penalty is not. The rates of women dying from pregnancy and infant mortality rates will likely rise as fewer people will be able to afford travelling far distances to receive an abortion.
Read more: Are Muslims supporting or rejecting abortion law in US?
Increasing the amount of children living in poverty, or living with parents that can not take care of them, or moving around in the adoption system. A disproportionate amount of women living in poverty will be affected especially, as those in higher social classes will still be able to afford having abortions. These same women are the ones who need the ability to abort the most. These are the people who are the most likely to not be able to afford a child, the ones most likely to lose a job or be evicted from their residence.
“A woman’s fundamental health decisions are her own to make, in consultation with her doctor and her loved ones — not to be dictated by far-right politicians,” said Nancy Pelosi in a statement.