A woman’s body belongs to her husband, her unborn child, and of course, the US government…or, at least, that’s what some conservatives like to believe. On the other hand, a man’s body belongs to him and only him. When it comes to a man’s body and private medical decisions, no one gets involved. The government doesn’t tread on a man’s autonomy. Congress doesn’t spend hours debating whether or not men should have access to certain health procedures. And the GOP doesn’t conspire against men and their health care providers. Unfortunately, the same isn’t true for women. Far too often the government, religious figures, and conservatives alike forget that a woman’s body is her own. A woman is capable of making personal decisions, like whether or not she should have an abortion, without the government interfering. Despite this, many conservatives within the US government have made systematic efforts to limit women’s access to abortions.
Far too often the government, religious figures, and conservatives alike forget that a woman’s body is her own, not public domain. A woman is capable of making personal decisions, like whether or not she should have an abortion, without the government interfering. Despite this, many conservatives within the US government have made systematic efforts to limit women’s access to abortions. Effectively stripping women of many of their constitutional rights.
Since 1973, it’s been the law of the land, Roe v Wade, that abortion in the US would be legal up until 28 weeks of pregnancy. Now in 2016, close to 50 years later, the statutes of Roe v. Wade that secured a woman’s right to an abortion, are being dismantled. In many parts of the United States, an abortion has been made so difficult to obtain that it’s almost as if it were illegal.
This war on women’s reproductive rights began in 1992 when the Supreme Court gave states the right to pass restrictions on abortions. Since that ruling, nearly 1000 restrictions on abortion have been passed.
Here are just a few of the nearly 1000 restrictions women face across the country. 33 states have mandatory waiting periods for abortions. 20 states have bans that outlaw abortions as early as 12 weeks. 13 states have near-total bans on abortion. 34 states have barred financial assistance for the poor.
This injustice continues when you look at the fact that 87% of counties in the US now have zero abortion clinics and in 5 states there is only one abortion clinic. It’s evident that states have made a deliberate effort to deny women reproductive rights.
More than half of US states scored below a C rating on Women’s reproductive rights. These aren’t just arbitrary numbers and ratings, they represent states failure to help women in need. The actions of states have affected the lives of millions of women.
The implications of this are widespread and horrifying. In the state of Texas alone more than 250,000 women have tried to terminate pregnancies themselves. Lack of access to safe and affordable abortions is a crisis woman face in more than half of US states. What many conservatives within the US government fail to understand is that restricted access to abortion does not reduce incidents of abortion. All it does is create an atmosphere where abortions are being done illegally and unsafely. The GOP and other conservatives don’t seem to care that restricting access to abortions greatly jeopardizes the health of women and increases rates of unsafe abortions.
The actions of the US government and state governments have effectively reduced women’s reproductive rights to what they were before 1973. As time progresses, so should our laws and our statutes. We must eliminate highly restrictive abortion laws. Oppressing women by attempting to control their reproductive rights is a dangerous step in the wrong direction. It’s 2016, not 1950, women should not have to resort to coat hangers and back-alley doctors. Women’s bodies are private properties where the US government should have no jurisdiction.