Alabama Abortion Ban, and what it means for Women's Rights in 2019

Updated: Apr 4, 2020

By Navya Jaiswal

Abortion, as explained by the Amnesty's report is a medical procedure which is a basic healthcare need for millions of women, girls and others who can become pregnant. But while the necessity of abortion is common, access to safe and legal abortion services is far from guaranteed for those who may need abortion services, and the debate is hovered by brazen misinformation about the true ramifications of restricting access to this basic healthcare service.

In the most recent debacle seen in the West in the context of Women's Rights in a society- this time in Alabama, where 25 white male Republican senates approved a regressive Bill making abortion illegal after six weeks of pregnancy, with no exceptions for rape and incest survivors, unless a woman's life is at risk. Doctor's who defy this ban would face prosecution and up to 99 years in prison if convicted; signed by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey. The law specifically exempt women from being criminally liable. The fetal heartbeat, which usually happens about six weeks into pregnancy. This time period is about two weeks after a woman's missed period when many women do not know yet know they are pregnant.

This could very well be a true ground exercise as women are already being arrested and put in jail because of anti-choice laws which prioritize fetal rights over women's; even with the protection of Roe v. Wade. This legislation is part of pro-life activists to push the issue before America's highest court, which has a conservative majority. Now after the most restrictive abortion laws in the country, the very pressing question arises that abortion limits carry an economic cost for women. As a consequence, many women came out through #YouKnowMe in recent days, in an effort to reduce the stigma surrounding abortion and preserve the right for women. They cite a wide variety of reasons for getting an abortion but a common theme is an economic hardship that having a baby would have posed for both mother and child. 

Testimonies of innumerable women sharing their stories of having gone under the procedure when they were just 15 and totally unprepared to raise a child. there have been horrific instances of women going for illegal and unassisted abortion-causing them much physical harm as well. Restricting women's access to abortions makes poor women poorer, and government safety-net programs don't make up for that lost income. This Bill would disproportionately affect the State's poor and minority women The Times reports that state Democrats have pointed out the bill's potential to affect poor women and women of color. The poorest in the state who are disproportionately Latino and Black would be trapped. Many critics of the bill say it's part of a constellation of Republican policies that punish and disenfranchise the state's nonwhite, poor, and female residents, and note that the same lawmakers who preen as "pro-life" have done nothing to address the fact that the state has some of the worst infant and maternal mortality rates in the country. There's no doubt that legislation like the Abortion ban in Alabama is aimed at the larger goal of prohibiting abortion nationwide.

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