Since Trump’s 2016 election, the fate of important issues like women’s rights especially in relation to birth control and abortion has sparked debate. The Pro-Life and Pro-Choice perspectives argue back and forth on the rights of a woman and how far legislation can go to uphold or control those rights.
One of the most troublesome times in Trump’s presidency was the appointment of Supreme Court Justice Brett Michael Kavanaugh, because of his radical Republican views. Kavanaugh’s views satisfied Trump as “Trump has long vowed to appoint justices who would reverse Roe and allow the states to determine whether abortion should be legal”, according to a CNN article back in October.
The decision left many uneasy because of the potential harm it could do to the decisions made in Roe v. Wade. Women’s rights activist organizations like Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America continue their efforts to protect women’s decision to have an abortion. The battle against Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh was turbulent because of the major state laws and legislation that consume today’s abortion conversation.
Of the three state laws inciting conversation, one of the most infamous ones is Georgia’s heartbeat bill. Anna North, a writer for Vox Media wrote, as recently as last Tuesday, that with Governor Brian Kemp’s signature, Georgia became the fourth state this year to pass a “heartbeat” bill, which bans abortion as soon as a fetal heartbeat can be detected. Many people have spoken out against the decision, and television and film production companies are even moving their projects from the state entirely, because of the decision. According to CNN, producers of Killer Films, Blown Deadline Productions, and the Duplass Brothers Productions have begun the opposition to the newly signed law over Twitter.
The other two laws, Alabama’s anti-abortion bill, and Ohio’s insurance ban continues to restrict access to birth control as well as the entire procedure. The Alabama bill that passed last week in the state’s House of Representatives, would not punish patients who get abortions but could send doctors who perform the procedure to prison for up to 99 years, according to Vox Media.
Ohio’s insurance bill bans most private insurance companies from covering abortion. It does allow, however, insurance companies to cover “a procedure for an ectopic pregnancy that is intended to reimplant the fertilized ovum into the pregnant woman’s uterus.” This bill also included a controversial provision from one of its sponsors that also has many doctors worried. According to the Washington Post writer Kayla Epstein, “the latest available version of HB 182 has an exception that would allow insurance to cover a treatment that does not exist.” The bill states, “A procedure for an ectopic pregnancy, that is intended to reimplant the fertilized ovum into the pregnant woman’s uterus.”
This kind of legislation could change the lives of all women in Ohio, forced to carry a child. In this same state of Ohio, an 11-year-old girl was raped by a 26-year-old and is now pregnant. These new laws and bans say that she will have to bear the child of her rapist. None of these laws include exceptions for rape and incest. As an eye-opening article from CBS’s Kate Smith highlights, Ohio’s law “says that victims like her won’t have a choice to have an abortion — they would have to carry and deliver their rapist’s child.”
These laws could have terrifying effects on women of color, especially those who aren’t socioeconomically advantaged to get abortions from private clinics. This also stands as a potential issue for women’s suffrage, because convicted felons CANNOT vote. This bill and the other two pieces of legislation are shaking the pro-life and pro-choice world, over the topic of when abortion bans and restrictions may be going too far.