Let's get one thing straight: No woman ever wants an abortion. In fact, most women go through gruelling, uncomfortable, painful procedures (not to mention deal with negative side effects that come with said procedures) to avoid having an abortion. We have the pill, the implant, the IUD and condoms marketed to us like the shiny solution to the problem.
This week, Republicans in Alabama passed a harsh law banning abortion - with no exception for rape or incest - criminalising those who seek to have an abortion as well as the doctors who choose to perform the procedure. That sentence could be up to 99 years in prison. That means, that a rapist who gets his victim pregnant could serve less time in jail than the medically trained professional who removes the embryo that was forcefully put in the victim.
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Alabama was not the first state to enact the oppressive legislature either. Early last week, Georgia's Governor Brian Kemp signed into effect a fetal heartbeat bill. The HB 481 bill makes it illegal to receive an abortion once a heartbeat is detected in the womb, and that happens as early as six weeks into the pregnancy. For many women, that's as soon as missing one period.
In these bills, as it stands, mentions no policies to ensure a proper standard of living for these children once they are born. Nor are there any plans in place to provide government support for mothers coerced to give birth to said children under these laws beyond the possibility of ordering fathers of the unborn to pay child support.
Criminalising abortion does not stop abortions, it makes abortion less safe.
Preventing women and girls from accessing an abortion does not mean they stop needing one. That’s why attempts to ban or restrict abortions do nothing to reduce the number of abortions, it only forces people to seek out unsafe abortions. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that 22 million unsafe abortions take place each year. In contrast to a legal abortion that is carried out by a trained medical provider, unsafe abortions can have fatal consequences. So much so that unsafe abortions are the third leading cause of maternal deaths worldwide and lead to an additional five million largely preventable disabilities, according to the WHO.
All the countries where abortion is illegal
Antigua & Barbuda
Central African Republic
Dem. Rep. of Congo
Papua New Guinea
Sao Tome & Principe
United Arab Emirates
West Bank & Gaza Strip
All the countries where abortion is restricted
Republic of Korea
Saint Kittis & Nevis
Trinidad & Tobago
Saint Vincent & Grenadines
All the countries where abortion is legal
*According to the Center for Reproductive Rights