Women should be allowed to make decisions about their own bodies

Courtney Dalton, Courier Staff

Abortion access and women’s reproductive healthcare is under attack in this country. Republicans have grabbed onto the hope that they can persuade the Supreme Court of the United States to revisit Roe v. Wade due to the new conservative justices’ appointment to the highest court. How are Republicans nationwide trying to accomplish such a feat, you ask? They are writing and passing severely unconstitutional laws in countless states to attract the attention of the courts. We are watching abortion access be stripped away as if we are back in the 20th century.

On April 11, 2019, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed a bill into law that would ban abortion at the first sign of a fetal heart rate. This can be as early as 6 weeks, which is when many women do not even realize they are pregnant; only 2 weeks after a missed period. Ohio is not the only state to impose harsh, unrealistic restrictions for women seeking an abortion. According to The Hill, Kentucky and Mississippi signed similar bans last month and George is awaiting their governor’s signature to be next.

Texas legislators are writing and supporting a bill that would criminalize abortion. The bill in question would charge mothers who go through with an abortion and penalize them with the death penalty. Nothing says pro-life like the death penalty, am I right? I wonder what would happen if Republicans cared as much about children after birth and women who are living as they do a clump of undeveloped cells in a woman’s uterus.

Missouri currently prides itself on being one of seven states that is down to a single abortion clinic. Lawmakers are hoping they can be the first state to completely shut down every single abortion clinic in the state. According to another article on this topic by The Hill, “Since 2011, states have enacted more than 400 restrictions that have pushed abortion care out of reach for many.” These laws are incredibly damaging to women, especially women who fall into the categories of low-income, various minority groups, mentally ill and young people.

We can argue all day about the ethics behind abortion. People are entitled to their own beliefs about when life begins, if they themselves would get an abortion or if a woman who gets an abortion is a morally corrupt person. I am unbothered by all of these points of view. The fact remains, if we are discussing this matter from a constitutional perspective, that the Constitution states that there shall be a separation of church and state in the making of laws. If my philosophical views rejecting incarceration, racism and sexism do not matter in the making of the Constitution, neither does your religious take on abortion, Sharon.

According to NBC News, “Historical and contemporary data show that where abortion is illegal or highly restricted, women resort to unsafe means to end an unwanted pregnancy, including self-inflicted abdominal and bodily trauma, ingestion of dangerous chemicals, self-medication with a variety of drugs and reliance on unqualified abortion providers,” ACOG says. “Today, approximately 21 million women around the world obtain unsafe, illegal abortions each year.”

Banning legal abortion does not end abortion. It only makes it a more hostile, unsafe process for women. Women’s lives are being put in danger for political and religious gain. We are having an important form of birth control being taken away from us. Abortion is a form of birth control that has a place for women who were unable to prevent an unwanted pregnancy before the moment of conception. Why would you want to force a woman who does not want a child to raise one? Why would you wish a life in an incredibly broken foster care system upon an unborn, undeveloped child to make yourself feel better about your religious views?

Women deserve so much more. We deserve the right to make decisions based on our own lives and bodies. Not everyone is meant to be a mother. The final point here is that what a woman does with her own body is none of your business. A woman’s choice to receive an abortion is between her and her doctor, no one else.

Just say you hate women and go. It is much simpler than writing legislation and holding picket signs outside of clinics that save lives and provide much-needed reproductive healthcare. Abortion is my right, and it should continue to be every woman’s in this country, should she choose to exercise it.