The Threat To Roe V. Wade Is REAL

The Threat To Roe V. Wade Is REAL

The new law in Alabama is part of a broader nationwide trend to target the 1973 Supreme Court Decision.

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On May 7, 2019, abortion after six weeks was outlawed in Georgia.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed into law a bill that bans abortion after cardiac activity in the fetus can be detected. This milestone is reached at the 5-6 week period of pregnancy, a time when most women do not even know they are pregnant. This type of bill is commonly (and incorrectly) referred to as a "heartbeat bill." It prohibits abortion at a stage when the fetus' heart is not yet formed, instead it depends on the cardiac activity of the fetal tissue. The Georgia law includes an exemption that would allow the procedure to be performed if it would save the mother's life. The Georgia law also includes an exemption for pregnancies that are a product of rape or incest.

Fetal heartbeat bills are popping up in state legislatures all over the country.

Georgia, Ohio, Kentucky, and Mississippi have all passed laws that ban abortion after cardiac activity is detected. In recent years, Iowa, North Dakota, and Arkansas have all passed "fetal heartbeat" laws, but they have been struck down in court. Kentucky's law was struck down earlier this year.

The Alabama Senate voted Tuesday to send the most restrictive abortion bill in the nation to the Governor's desk.

Alabama has gone beyond the fetal heartbeat bill by passing a law that will make performing an abortion at any stage of pregnancy a felony. Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed the bill into law on Wednesday after the Alabama Senate voted 25-6 to pass it. The law makes it possible for doctors who perform an abortion to face life in prison. Similar to the Georgia law, the Alabama law includes an exemption for abortions based on "reasonable medical judgment." However, the Alabama law does not include an exemption for pregnancies that resulted from rape or incest.

The Missouri Senate passed a version of the fetal heartbeat bill last Thursday.

The bill, also known as the "Missouri Stands for the Unborn Act," bans abortions after 8 weeks of pregnancy with exceptions for medical necessity, but not for pregnancies that result from rape or incest. The bill will go back to the Missouri House for a vote, which is controlled by Republicans, before going to the desk of Missouri Governor Mike Parson (R) for signature. It will no doubt face a legal challenge.

The 1973 United States Supreme Court Case Roe v. Wade made abortion legal in all 50 states, but that decision is more in danger now than ever before.

SCOTUS ruled in favor of the appellant, Jane Roe, in a 7-2 decision. The majority decision focused on the right to privacy found in the fourteenth amendment to the Constitution and recognized in the case Griswold v. Connecticut. The decision viewed abortion as a private decision made by a doctor who is exercising their professional discretion in treating a patient.

The new laws could force a showdown with the United States Supreme Court.

Pro-life groups openly express the idea that new anti-abortion laws break with the precedent set by Roe v. Wade The main purpose of these laws is to open up an avenue to overturn the 1973 decision. Ohio Right to Life President Mike Gonidakis said, "The heartbeat bill is the next incremental step in our strategy to overturn Roe v. Wade." The bill in Ohio has already been legally challenged by the ACLU and Planned Parenthood. The Alabama law is being legally challenged by the Alabama Women's Center and the ACLU of Alabama. These cases could be appealed all the way up to the Supreme Court, which is the goal of this legislation.

Roe v. Wade has been the topic of political conversation for years. So, why now?

With the controversial confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, replacing Justice Anthony Kennedy (often thought of as a swing-vote, including abortion cases) conservatives hold a solid 5-4 majority on the bench. The Supreme Court is not the only place in the judiciary where Trump has left his mark, Republicans have been quietly confirming conservative judges to serve at all levels of the federal court systems. This has emboldened pro-life groups to pursue legislation that places tight restrictions on abortions, with the hope that they may be upheld and Roe v. Wade will be overturned. The states passing these laws are also under complete GOP control as they are classified as "Republican trifectas" (states where the legislatures and governorship are all controlled by Republicans).

The threat to Roe v. Wade is real, but most Americans still agree with the original decision.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 67% of Americans do not want to see Roe v. Wade overturned. These laws do not represent the will of the American people, nor of the founders of the United States. Yet, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Tennessee all have passed "trigger laws" that would immediately ban abortion following the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Nineteen states currently have state laws or supreme court rulings that would protect abortion rights, and more are looking to pass protections as safeguards.

The new laws expose the lack of support for rape survivors in America.

The Alabama and Missouri laws do not allow them to get abortions and they are forced to give birth to their rapist's child. Worst of all, under the new law, doctors in Alabama who perform an abortion face the same maximum sentence as first-degree rape offenders. Under Missouri's new abortion law, doctors could get up to 15 years in prison for performing an abortion, while second-degree rape carries a maximum sentence of seven years and/or a fine of $5,000. While many women do not report their rapes because of the stigma and shame surrounding the issue (and a variety of other reasons), it is possible that their doctors could be policed more harshly than their rapists.

American women deserve better.

After all, it is proven that outlawing abortion does not decrease the abortion rate, it only increases the likelihood that the procedure will be done unsafely. Make no mistake that restricting or outlawing abortion only serves to hurt women by putting them at risk for fatal injuries incurred from unsanitary conditions. We should be progressing towards improving the health of American women and increasing access to reproductive healthcare, instead of undoing almost five decades worth of progress. These laws are unconstitutional, and they are a threat to the rights and safety of all American women.

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PSA: Keep Your Body-Negative Opinions Away From Little Girls This Summer

But our own baggage shouldn't be shoved on to those we surround ourselves with.

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It's officially swimsuit season, y'all.

The temperature is rising, the sun is bright and shining, and a trip to the beach couldn't look more appealing than it does right now. This is the time of year that many of us have been rather impatiently waiting for. It's also the time of year that a lot of us feel our most self-conscious.

I could take the time to remind you that every body is a bikini body. I could type out how everyone is stunning in their own unique way and that no one should feel the need to conform to a certain standard of beauty to feel beautiful, male or female. I could sit here and tell you that the measurement of your waistline is not a reflection of your worth. I completely believe every single one of these things.

Hell, I've shared these exact thoughts more times than I can count. This time around, however, I'm not going to say all these things. Instead, I'm begging you to push your insecurities to the side and fake some confidence in yourself when you're in front of others.

Why?

Because our negative self-image is toxic and contagious and we're spreading this negative thinking on to others.

We're all guilty of this, we're with family or a friend and we make a nasty comment about some aspect of our appearance, not even giving a single thought to the impact our words have on the person with us. You might think that it shouldn't bother them- after all, we're not saying anything bad about them! We're just expressing our feelings about something we dislike about ourselves. While I agree that having conversations about our insecurities and feelings are important for our mental and emotional health, there is a proper and improper way of doing it. An open conversation can leave room for growth, acceptance, understanding, and healing. Making a rude or disheartening remark about yourself is destructive not only to yourself, but it will make the person you are saying these things around question their own self worth or body image by comparing themselves to you.

My little sister thinks she's "fat." She doesn't like how she looks. To use her own words, she thinks she's "too chubby" and that she "looks bad in everything."

She's 12 years old.

Do you want to know why she has this mindset? As her older sister, I failed in leading her by example. There were plenty of times when I was slightly younger, less sure of myself, and far more self-conscious than I am now, that I would look in the mirror and say that I looked too chubby, that my body didn't look good enough, that I wished I could change the size of my legs or stomach.

My little sister had to see the older sibling she looks up to, the big sis she thinks always looks beautiful, say awful and untrue things about herself because her own sense of body image was warped by media, puberty, and comparing herself to others.

My negativity rubbed off onto her and shaped how she looks at herself. I can just imagine her watching me fret over how I look thinking, "If she thinks she's too big, what does that make me?"

It makes me feel sick.

All of us are dealing with our own insecurities. It takes some of us longer than others to view ourselves in a positive, loving light. We're all working on ourselves every day, whether it be mentally, physically, or emotionally. But our own baggage shouldn't be shoved on to those we surround ourselves with, our struggles and insecurities should not form into their own burdens.

Work on yourself in private. Speak kindly of yourself in front of others. Let your positivity, real or not, spread to others instead of the bad feelings we have a bad habit of letting loose.

The little girls of the world don't need your or my negative self-image this summer. Another kid doesn't need to feel worthless because we couldn't be a little more loving to ourselves and a lot more conscious of what we say out loud.

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In Case You Haven't Heard, My Body Means My Choice, So Deal With It

With all the political differences and laws trying to be passed, based on what a woman can do with her body, demonstrates how the United States decides to use their power and control others by the means of it.

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Since the beginning of America, there have always been minority groups, which include African American, Hispanics, the disabled, homosexuals, and women. Such minority groups have made it their responsibility to fight for their rights and earn justice for it. However, there has recently sprung up a debate on abortion policies, attempting to alter and re-write the rules on Roe vs Wade per state to pursue when or if abortion is illegal based on certain circumstances.

Now, I am not writing this in any means to deter you from your individual opinion on this situation or your perspective, but I do believe that I have a voice in this situation since I am a woman and this situation affects me if any of you individuals like that or not. And most of all, I deserve to be heard.

Starting off, in no means should a man, government officials, or anyone for that matter be able to decide what is acceptable to do with my own individual body, EVER. How have we become a country that thinks it is more than okay to tell what others can do based on the decision of another person. See, we have this thing called bodily autonomy which means we have independence over our own body, or at least we should. A prime example of this is when an individual dies, a surgeon can not remove the person's organs (if they were an organ donor) until the designated power of attorney says it is okay to do so. However, it is apparently acceptable and illegal for someone who has become pregnant through rape or in general is unable to care for a child to receive an abortion and loses their bodily autonomy for the following 9 months. How does a corpse have more rights and bodily autonomy than a pregnant woman does today?

Currently, the state of Alabama has passed a bill that makes abortion illegal under any circumstances and committing this now known felony, can lead to a very long jail sentence. In fact, committing abortion in Alabama (for the woman or the doctor) can lead to a longer jail sentence than someone who raped another individual. Wow. How is that acceptable????

Many states are following in Alabama's lead and we need to put a stop to it before it becomes too far. We women, need to fight for achieving our bodily autonomy and band together and show America that we are a force to be reckoned with.

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