Posted by Queenie Tu

DISCLAIMER: It is to mention that although this article mainly connects abortions to women only, there are also transgender men and non-binary individuals who are still capable of conceiving babies, and they are also included when talking about these reproductive rights that are at risk of being taken away.

In 1973, Roe v. Wade ruled that women are allowed the rights to having abortions. Yet, it is 46 years later and we are still having legal debates about the same issue. Recently, multiple states including Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Kentucky, Ohio, Missouri, and Louisiana have attempted to pass or has passed bills that will heavily limit the women and individuals who have reproductive organs on when they can have an abortion. Many call these the “Heartbeat Bills.” This law will ban abortions as early as six weeks into the pregnancy and statistically, many women are not even aware they are pregnant until after six weeks. Some of these laws may even criminalize the doctors who perform these abortion procedures, locking them up away for more years than a rapist may be charged with in this country. It is to note that none of these bills are in action yet. Primary organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union, also known as the ACLU, are suing in hopes of getting these bills repealed. Several other states have gotten their bills voided after federal judges blocked it from being passed.

There are many issues that lie within these bills and the debate behind it. This is a prime attack on the reproductive rights there are in this country. It is absurd that abortions are made illegal well before the ban of guns in America. Anti-abortion advocates are calling abortions murderings of unborn children, yet there are hundreds of thousands of minors who are thrown into a faulty foster care system and no one seems to pay attention to them. It almost seems like these elected officials only care about the idea of life, but not life itself. How is it that an unborn child is allowed more rights than a woman standing in front of a health clinic who just got denied her rights to have an abortion? This isn’t to say that pro-life people are wrong; there will always be a difference in beliefs and principles, and everyone is allowed the right to have their own opinion about abortions. However, conservative officials should not abuse their power and pass restrictive laws that reinforce their ideas. Even so, many confuse the definition of pro-choice as immediately pro-abortion. Contrary to popular belief, people can be pro-choice and not pro-abortion because pro-choice simply means that you support the idea of women having the rights to make their own decisions about their OWN body. In no way should a board of men have the power to pass a bill that does not pertain to their livelihood at the slightest.

YAC members had a conversation recently about the attempted passing of these abortion bills. One person said that this whole ordeal seems like officials are politicizing a human right, a freedom that should be given. They are only interested in furthering their political agendas, which in return leads to oppression and a power and control battle. These politicians are only passing these laws in a wave so they can build power, ignoring the actual needs of the general public. Someone also mentioned that even if they were to ban abortions, it will not stop women from having these procedures. The only outcome is women will have to resort to unsafe abortions, or travel to another state to avoid being criminalized. However, a YAC intern also mentioned that financial barriers may prevent women from having these luxuries.

As of right now, the legal battle continues on as abortion activists fight to help put these bills to an end. It does not just end there though; we need the voices of everyone to help ensure that these basic reproductive rights are not stripped away from us. From bringing awareness to abortions by destigmatizing the topic to contacting government officials over your concern about your rights, every effort matters in helping us progress into a more equal future.