The new abortion bans are not about children; they are about controlling women

Sammi Verespy, Assistant Opinion Editior

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Time zones are so wild. In Australia it is tomorrow, in London, it is 12 hours from now and in America, it is 1940.

The continual harm against women’s rights is a narrative that is shown in so many ways throughout history. The most prevalent right now is the battle against women’s reproductive rights.

To give a frame of reference, as of June 26th, 2019, 16 states have introduced or passed heartbeat laws. These are laws that restrict abortions as soon as 6 weeks into a pregnancy. This is with no exception for rape or incest. These laws go directly against the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling that allows for abortions until about 24 weeks into pregnancy.

The punishment for breaking these laws and seeking an abortion, even in another state can stick the woman with large fines, probation, and in some cases jail time. The doctors performing them can also expect similar charges.

This new legislation effectively removes a woman’s right to choose. These laws ruin lives. They force pregnancies on women that do not necessarily want them. Limiting access means more women suffer and more women die.

This is a part of the slow but steady degradation of women’s rights, which far surpasses the “pro-life” or “saving the children” arguments that are presented.

The legislators who are passing these laws oppose forcing fathers to be involved in the lives of their children that were forcibly carried to term. They also support the removal of any support to help raise said child, who may have been born into less than ideal economic situations due to the lack of the right to choose. This includes cutting food stamps, cutting affordable housing, cutting spending on public educations, and lastly not allowing for cheap or free healthcare to both the mother and the child.

This begs the idea of what about just preventing these pregnancies? Birth control, contraceptives, and comprehensive sexual education are also on the no-go list.  To them, the only feasible solution is simply for women to keep their legs shut. Effectively removing a woman’s choice in being sexually active or not.

They oppose all of these things because it is, in their eyes, a violation of individual rights to force people to do something.

With this framework of unalienable rights and the necessity of not violating them in mind, it shows the hypocrisy of these bans. However, if this is viewed through the lens of restricting social mobility for women it makes complete sense.

This dogma of “individual rights” or “personal responsibility” is a mask. One that shields the general public from what this all boils down to. A powerplay to keep the status quo. One that ensures women are complacent and quiet, just how these legislators like them.

Think about any of the policies being made by these legislators, and ask yourself: does this disperse power or consolidate it? Whether it be education, healthcare, the environment, or the economy, they love to keep power away from the average citizen and give it to the small number of people that they deem “deserving” of it because of their race, gender, wealth, or power.

These new bans are leaving women with less of everything. Less money, less protection, less education, less opportunity, fewer rights, and less freedom. This is not just a side effect of one ban, rather the culmination of many unfair and unjust laws. This is the point. To remove the power from women and to consolidate it into groups that they find more deserving. This group is the wealthy, the powerful, and the white.

 

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