This month, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed a bill that would make all abortion illegal, even in cases of incest and rape. Many thought it would be okay because these bills haven't been passed since Roe v. Wade, but the Alabama Senate passed the bill 25-6. The only exception is "to avoid a serious health risk to the unborn child's mother," for ectopic pregnancy and if the "unborn child has a lethal anomaly."
Activists and celebrities have been voicing their concern over the bill, but many people are unaware of what it means for the United States and why everyone should be worried. Here's a quick breakdown of everything surrounding the Alabama bill.
First, you should know Alabama isn't the first state to restrict abortions.
It is only the first state that has made it illegal throughout the full term and with so few exceptions. As of 2019, there are 5 states that have passed the heartbeat bill: Georgia, Ohio, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Missouri. The heartbeat bill states that abortion is illegal once a heartbeat can be detected, which in most cases is around 6 weeks. Most women do not know they are pregnant by that time. It does, however, make exceptions to save the pregnant woman's life and in cases of rape and incest. Still, Alabama is the first to have such a restrictive law, making abortion illegal at any stage of the pregnancy with no exceptions for rape/incest. If a doctor performs an abortion on a woman, they could serve 99 years in prison. It should be noted that in Alabama, "those who commit rape in the second degree face no more than 20 years in prison. Those charged with sexual abuse or incest face less than 10 years in prison."
You should also know the Roe v. Wade decision.
In 1973, a woman (Roe) wanted to get an abortion in Texas but was told she could not get one unless her life was at stake. So, she took her case to the Supreme Court, which decided she was correct because the State of Texas was infringing on her ninth and 14th amendments. What are these, you ask? Well, the ninth amendment basically states that there are rights that were not included in the Constitution, but even though they aren't included, it doesn't mean they can be violated. With the fourteenth amendment, it was actually found to violate the due process clause which "balances power of law of land and protects the individual from it," basically limiting the control the government has on individuals. So, basically, the Supreme Court told the government to leave individuals' bodies alone and added that as long as long as the fetus cannot survive outside of the womb, it would be okay to get an abortion, which based on medical science in 1973, was around 24-28 weeks.
Now, some may ask why they should care if they're not affected by it.
Aside from the obvious, having humanity and fighting for the freedom of those who can't have a voice or even just realizing how wrong it is, here are some more reasons. Our current government has been shown to have personal agendas that are being fulfilled by the laws implemented. This was shown by a recent poll conducted by Gallup where they found 18% of the sample surveyed wanted to make abortion illegal in all circumstances, 29% legal in all circumstances, and 50% legal under certain circumstances. Somehow, abortion was made illegal in all circumstances, despite the majority choosing for it to be legal at least in certain circumstances. Moreover, it should be worrisome that if a woman decides to go ahead with the abortion, she would be committing a felony, and as some may or may not know, felons can't vote. So they would be taking away the voice of yet another person. And if the woman decides to go out of state, she can be charged with conspiracy to commit murder.
Are you worried yet?
Now let's look at the hypocrisy of the bill.
By signing this bill, Kay Ivey is going against the decision made in Roe v. Wade claiming to be pro-life. Yet, she supports the second amendment right and is a lifetime member of the NRA. How can one claim to be pro-life and support an association that has fought against gun control laws amid the loss of MANY lives due to lack of control of who gets firearms? What about the lives of convicts? Just a day after signing the "pro-life" abortion bill, Gov. Ivey presided over the execution of the 7th inmate in her time. And if all lives are worth saving, does that not mean all lives are worthy of living a full, happy life with the ones the love, including those of the LGBT community? Not according to Gov. Ivey.
While the bill has already been signed and there isn't much we can do, there is some information that should be passed on. The bill is not yet effective. I repeat, it is still legal to get an abortion in Alabama for the next six months. Please spread that information like wildfire. You can save a lot of lives.
And remember, as a smart man once said:
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere"
-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.