Ever since the controversial 1973 ruling of Roe v. Wade, it seems that the ideology gap between pro-choicers and pro-lifers has only widened as time has passed. The initial backlash against the legislation was intense. In 1976, the Supreme Court declared a statute on parental and spousal consent unconstitutional; however, that was swiftly followed by the first passage of the Hyde Amendment, banning the use of federal funds in abortion except for cases of rape, incest, and the mother's life. Despite attempts to move forward, the hatred against abortion has continued since then, manifesting itself in passionate Moral Majority campaigns led by the charismatic Rev. Jerry Falwell in the 1980s, and even now.
Don't think so? This infographic will change your mind. The grey states are the only ones that have not introduced anti-abortion bills.
The website shows two maps of the U.S., one showing bills introduced and the other showing bills passed. Each map is staggering, reflecting the intense increase in abortion restriction legislation. Eighty percent of America has introduced or passed some kind of legislation.
Each map was created counting legislation with certain key words, including: fetal heartbeat, post fertilization, 20 weeks, and others. The map showing us bills introduced shows the intensity of anti-abortion sentiment by depicting the number of bills introduced in each state. At least 15 bills were introduced in Texas, the most noted of which included the bill that Wendy Davis filibustered against. The "bills passed" map may not look as threatening, but it still brings up two important questions: What kind of restrictions are being brought up, and why?
Many restrictions deal with late-term abortions (abortions after 20 weeks of gestation, more commonly known as the point of viability), counseling, mandatory ultrasounds, and clinical regulations. Some even require doctors to lie to their patients about the possible side effects after abortion takes place.
Why it's occurring may seem baffling at first, but we should realize that it is an attempt to revitalize the more conservative base of the Republican Party's platform. As the demographic make up of the country is slowly changing, so is the political ideology. While, in some cases, the country may be shifting to a more conservative stance, they might also help keep the Democratic Party in the lead, which could be a reason for this aggressive campaign.
What is disturbing about this campaign is how widespread it is. It has affected so many women and their families thus far, and will continue to do so. How far are politicians willing to go to police women's bodies? Additionally, they continue to forget what has occurred to women trying to get abortions in the past. Without Roe v. Wade and other such court cases, women would still be getting botched, back-alley abortions and few medical resources. There is a reason the coat hanger is still such an important symbol for abortion and pro-choice activists. More importantly, I am struck by the hypocrisy of their message: If you are attempting to keep government out of people's every day lives, how is it you can fulfill that mission while passing almost larger than life legislation that will affect family planning and the future of America?
This infographic raises awareness not only for abortion restrictions, but for the way decisions about women's bodies are being made. It makes me want to question the Republican Party. How far have we really progressed in society? While there may be no clear answer, I'd like to hear theirs.