After 38 years, more than half of the states in the U.S. are trying to reverse the controversial Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision of 1973, which made abortion a viable option for every woman. Unfortunately, many of these states are succeeding, virtually eliminating abortion as a practical option for women.
On July 28, 2011, the Republican-led North Carolina State Legislature instated a law that prevents a woman from getting an abortion unless she observes a 24-hour waiting period and receives state-mandated counseling. Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue fought the bill, but the House overrode her veto.
Conservatives claim to fight so passionately against government control, refusing even a public option in the health care system, when in reality trying to force a woman to have a child is one of the worst ways a government can exercise oppressive control. The hypocrisy is ridiculous. Our leaders need to hear from us about how their idiotic decisions jeopardize the foundation of this country. When a country is in a recession, a government is in a deadlock, and the people feel left behind, the last thing we need to be attacking is a woman’s freedom to choose.
Half of all states have laws similar to North Carolina, requiring a waiting period and counseling before a woman may have an abortion, leaving women with very few options. After the waiting period and counseling have been observed it may be too late to legally have an abortion. Also, in states such as South Dakota, the counseling must be administered by an anti-choice abortion center. Therefore, the counselor could persuade women on moral issues, instead of objectively talking to the women to discover the reason for their choice.
Many are turning to the dangerous methods popularized in the era before Roe vs. Wade to abort their pregnancies. For example, in Utah, a poverty stricken pregnant teen paid a man $150 to repeatedly beat her in the stomach because she did not have access to an abortion clinic.
Conservatives in other state legislatures are trying to push bills to end abortion completely. Ohio is currently debating a bill that would make it illegal for a woman to have an abortion if the fetus has a heartbeat. This bill would effectively make abortion illegal, as in many cases a fetal heartbeat can be detected even before a woman realizes she is pregnant.
This is outrageous. In 2011, the government is still squabbling to eliminate a human freedom. How dare conservatives deter other important legislation to actively fight to place a ban on abortion. Christian values and the moral dilemma that many religious people have on the abortion issue should not be a factor here, because government proceedings and decisions are supposed to be separate from religion.
Abortion is legal, but state laws carry momentum on a national level, so I fear for what the future federal policy will be. As citizens, we need to fight for our right to choose. No matter if you are against abortion or not, we all have the right to decide how the course of our lives will play out. It is a right protected under the Fourteenth Amendment of our Constitution. The government has no business interfering.
Photo Credit: Emma Chasen