This Wednesday, a law banning abortions after six weeks of pregnancy went into effect in Texas. The ban is extreme, to say the least. There is no exception for rape or incest, other than for medical emergencies.
By signing the bill, lawmakers are trying to flash their holier-than-thou badges. We have such high morals. We value the life of the unborn.
Sorry, but your halo is not showing. Your need to control and persecute women is. Your Taliban buddies are applauding you for following in their repressive footsteps. Congrats!
No doubt it’s the same lawmakers who oppose wearing masks or taking Covid vaccinations on the grounds of bodily autonomy. But they feel justified and even self-righteous depriving women of their bodily autonomy.
According to the Center for Reproductive Rights —
In 2008, an estimated 86 million women had unintended pregnancies. There are many factors that influence a women’s decision to either carry a pregnancy to term or to seek an abortion.
Not everyone is fortunate to have a stable relationship, family support, and finances to take on the responsibility and challenges of an unexpected pregnancy.
Given the complexity of this decision, the only person equipped to make it is the pregnant woman herself. Governments should respect a woman’s human right to make decisions regarding her reproductive life.
Governments that prosecute and punish women who have had abortions penalize women for exercising their basic rights.
Abortion affects women disproportionately.
You won’t see many men protesting the abortion ban because pregnancy does not directly affect them as it does to a woman. They don’t go through the physical strains of 9 months of pregnancy.
They don’t face the fears and anxieties that come along with it. They don’t face the many health complications that come with having a baby.
Men don’t face disruption in education or intended career paths. They don’t face a loss of income or employment that comes with the delivery and care of an infant for many months to years.
Women have to deal with the brunt of child care even if they have supportive partners. In the end, it is the women making most of the sacrifices.
Men wouldn’t be able to handle even a period, let alone pregnancy. And somehow they deem themselves competent to call the shots on this?
Forcing a woman to undergo a life-threatening unsafe abortion threatens her right to life.
According to the World Health Organization, about 21.6 million women had unsafe abortions in 2008. These unsafe abortions were responsible for the deaths of nearly 47,000 women.
Forcing women to carry pregnancies to term causes physical and mental suffering.
When pregnancy is unwanted, its continuation can take a heavy toll on a woman’s physical and emotional well-being. Women may also undergo severe suffering and anguish when legal abortion services are inaccessible.
The World Health Organization’s definition of health is: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”.
Denying women access to abortion is a form of gender discrimination.
Laws that restrict abortion have the effect and purpose of preventing a woman from exercising any of her human rights or fundamental freedoms on a basis of equality with men.
What if women made decisions on men’s health issues? Compulsory vasectomies for partners? What say, you men?
There are undeniable repercussions on the child when a woman is forced to carry on with the pregnancy.
Children who are born to women who are unable and unready to parent fare worse than peers. They are at high risk for poor maternal bonding, abuse, and entry into the foster care system.
How about the lives of these children? Don’t their unwritten futures hold any value?
They are fighting just for a child to be born but not for a child to be fed, educated, or be well taken care of.
Laws like these fail the most vulnerable members of society. How about passing laws on pressing issues like affordable child care for parents juggling 2 jobs to make ends meet? How about making health care a right for all and not a privilege for a few?
Women facing unexpected pregnancies need mentoring and support to help them make the right decision for their life. They do not need shaming, guilt-tripping, or banners of dead babies waved in their faces.
Denying abortion rights is a violation of human rights. Unequivocally what happens in a woman’s body is her decision alone and not anyone else’s business. End of story.