The Heartbeat Bill and What We Should Worry About
Over the past couple of weeks, states such as Alabama, Ohio, and Georgia signed bills that sent a large part of the country into mass panic. HB-481, commonly termed the “Heartbeat Bill,” essentially states that women are no longer allowed to get abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected.
Women all over the country flew into an outrage last week when Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed this very bill. Many women posted on social media that women who received abortions, even out of state ones, would be thrown into jail for ten years. According to the Washington Post, this is false. The “Heartbeat Bill” is meant to target the doctors who perform illegal abortions--women will not receive jail time if this law is passed. Of course, just because the bill targets doctors doesn’t mean it won’t affect women.
This bill that Alabama, Ohio, Georgia and ten other states have signed make abortions illegal well before most women even know that they are pregnant. It takes more than a month for many women to realize that they’ve skipped their periods. Most of these states make exceptions for rape and incest, but Alabama, amidst the controversy, signed a bill that ban all abortions, no exceptions.
Pictures of the Republicans behind this stricter Alabama bill have been leaked on the internet in the past week. Every single one of those Republicans was an older white male. The post with these men’s faces went viral and women spoke out about men determining what women do with their bodies. That was the beauty of Roe v. Wade: the government shouldn’t need to know why a woman is receiving an abortion. But these Republicans just can’t seem to leave their religious beliefs out of their legislature.
Some economists believe that these new” Heartbeat Bills” are a way to keep the lower classes where they are because many women who have unwanted pregnancies when they are in their teens or early adult years never rise above their social class. But why would Republicans want to keep the social class so divided when it’s one of the main reasons that America’s economy is so unstable? Of that, I’m unsure.
Fortunately, these bills have not gone into effect, despite what many people might believe. If they are not overturned by the Supreme Court, these bills will go into effect starting at the beginning of 2020, so women do have time. But this chaos surrounding the signing of the bills has led many women to believe that it goes into effect immediately. It is a good scare tactic to ward women away from safe abortions, but many abortion clinics are encouraging women that they remain at a safe place to receive care.
If these bills are put into place, I don’t think they will last for long. Banning abortions will not stop women from having them, it will just make them more dangerous. HIstory has proven time and time again that women will go to great lengths to terminate a pregnancy if they feel that it is the right choice. But illegal abortions will continue to put those women at risk of infection or death.
Women who are pro-choice have argued that they are not fans of killing babies, despite what pro-lifers claim. Pro-choice supporters acknowledge that deciding to have an abortion is not an easy choice, but it should continue to be a choice. Women should not be interrogated when they have a miscarriage and they should not be forced to travel hundreds of miles to recieve care. It doesn’t matter what you believe in, it is wrong to take away a person’s right to choose.
Cover image via NBC News
I got my information from The Washington Post and USAToday.