Currently in the United States of America, federal law makes abortions legal across the country. Abortion is a huge part of reproductive rights as well as one of the most controversial aspects therein. There are specific states in particular that place rules and regulations on abortion facilities. These include operational requirements that can make it nearly impossible to receive an abortion or reproductive care in said states. So while you can legally receive an abortion in any state, the likelihood of finding a facility that will perform the operation can be incredibly low.
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With the current makeup of the senate and presidency being republican, the ruling of the famous U.S. Supreme Court Roe. v. Wade case is in danger of being overturned. Roe. V. Wade (1973) gave women the right to have abortions at a federal level. The difficulty here is that it was then the decision of state-level lawmakers to put limits on what point of a pregnancy women would be allowed to have an abortion and designate specific clinics and hospitals in which these abortions can take place. Many states use this allowance to craft rules and regulations that impede the functions of abortion centers and the like.
Many dangers come along when we take away or limit a woman’s access to reproductive healthcare as well as abortions. Offering abortions in clinics and hospitals can discourage dangerous alternatives in which untrained woman might try to carry out ad-hoc procedures themselves. The access to reproductive care can encourage increased preventative care which can help women find solutions to various health problems relevant to those parts of their anatomies before they worsen. It is through these various types of care that women are able to take control of their reproductive health and by extension, their own bodies.
If Roe V. Wade is overturned, then there are incredibly catastrophic outcomes for female reproductive rights. There would be an increase in unwanted pregnancies, many women would lose access to preventative healthcare, and they’d be at greater danger for health problems that could have been spotted and rectified earlier on.
There are currently four states with “Trigger” laws. These laws are in place in the chance that Roe V. Wade would be overturned; if this were to happen the so-called “Trigger” laws would instantly make abortion illegal in those particular states. The states that have these laws already in place are Mississippi, Louisiana, North Dakota, and South Dakota. These “Trigger” laws would criminalize people who prescribe, preform, or aide in an abortion, many of these laws also come with possible prison time as well as fines that could reach up to $100,000.
It is crucial to protect these rights from the potential legislature that could take them away or make it nearly impossible to receive necessary medical care. Women should be given complete control over their bodies and reproductive health and have the ability to do whatever they see fit with their own bodies. This means protecting Roe. V. Wade as well as providing women with access to reproductive healthcare that would in turn increase access to reproductive education and birth control and decrease unwanted pregnancies. When there is an increase in access to reproductive healthcare, there in a direct correlation to a decrease in abortions. Preventative care can provide women with resources to be as prepared as possible to take care of their own bodies.
I hope in the future we can give all girls and women the education and reproductive healthcare that they need in order to prevent unwanted pregnancies, as well as supporting them if they do need an abortion. Overturning Roe V. Wade would be a huge step back for women’s rights and equality movements.
Emma Bates is a Student at the University of Vermont majoring in Political Science. She is very passionate about women’s rights and equality. In her free time you can find her reading, drinking tea, and hiking in the Adirondack Mountains. Emma aspires to one day go to law school and use her educational platform to create social change.