The Hidden Problem Behind TRAP Laws
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Politics and Activism

The Hidden Problem Behind TRAP Laws

Republican lawmakers are missing the point...again.

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The Hidden Problem Behind TRAP Laws
Time

Now, this may seem like a strange title, considering TRAP laws are a problem in and of themselves. However, I want to point out what I believe is the main issue surrounding these unnecessary, unsafe laws. If you don’t already know, TRAP laws (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) are laws that intend to make getting an abortion a much more difficult process than it already is.

These laws can include 72 hour waiting periods before receiving an abortion, mandatory counseling before an abortion, requiring a woman to see an ultrasound before an abortion, requiring hallways to be at least 8 feet wide in abortion clinics, requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a local hospital, and even requiring a woman’s doctor to verbally tell her false risks that come with getting an abortion.

TRAP laws masquerade themselves as laws to help “protect women’s health,” but since their enactment they have only endangered women’s physical and emotional health. These regulations are obviously completely unnecessary and are backed by zero scientific evidence, but what bothers me more about them is the assumption that they imply.

By requiring women to view the ultrasound, speak to a counselor, or wait 72 hours, it implies that women are incapable of fully understanding the consequences of the decision that they have already made. It implies that women are not fully educated about abortion and their own bodies, so the men who make these laws take it upon themselves to educate women. Many Republicans, who often happen to be men, are attempting to take away a right that has already been granted about a subject in which they know very little about: the female reproductive system.

These laws claim to be intact for the protection of women’s health, but in reality they are only protecting the power of the patriarchy and the notion that women cannot be equally or more knowledgeable than men…about their own bodies. Due to the lack of cohesive sex education in our country, there is a heap of misconceptions floating around about sexuality, anatomy, and reproductive health. I would hope that my representatives have an extensive knowledge of the complexities of the female anatomy and reproductive system if they are going to pass a law regarding such; however I don’t think they do.

Personally, I would love to speak with some of the male Republican lawmakers who pass these laws and ask them some basic sex-ed questions. “Where is the clitoris?” “How does menstruation work?” “What are the purposes of fallopian tubes?” “What is an ectopic pregnancy?” If they could answer, I truly believe that there would be no laws restricting abortion access, and that is why these laws must pretend to be the safety net that they’re not.

Many women believe that men should not even be involved in the lawmaking surrounding abortion access, however I don’t agree with this. Men should be involved, but those men (and women) should be educated about anything and everything relating to women’s health. Maybe these men and women who want to pass laws restricting abortion access should complete (and pass) a class about women’s sexuality, anatomy, and reproductive health. Maybe that will help them understand the full consequences of the decision they're about to make.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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