Women all around the world have used abortions to terminate an unwanted pregnancy but since the 1800’s most states had banned abortions from happening unless it was to save the life of a woman. Poor women and women of color at the time suffered extremely to obtain a safe abortion. Thousands of women a year were treated for health complications and died but none of the deaths were connected to the unsafe and illegal abortions. According to OBOS, “Wherever abortion is illegal, committed people take enormous risks to provide safe abortions clandestinely, to treat women who have complications, and to help women find safe providers” (2014). Due to unsanitary, botched and self-induced abortions people many physicians and practitioners risked their jobs to provide abortions. This inspired women to make a movement and fight for abortion rights which lead to gender equality.
So the human life protection act is an anti-choice bill which taking away women’s right to an abortion just like it did in the 1800’s. The act doesn’t even include an expection in cases of rape or incest. Limiting women from getting rid of an unplanned pregnancy from rape or incest limits their self-concept that can interfere with a woman’s ability to make choices for her independence and personal fulfillment. Furthermore, this bill classies a performed illegal abortion as Class A and an attempted abortion performed in violation of this act would be a Class C felony, punishable by one to 10 years in prison to the physician who performed it.
Should abortions be legal has been a debate topic on whether abortions should be an option to everyone or pro-life, people who are pro-choice, believe that it’s a woman’s right that should not be limited by the government. Abortion has been a very controversial issue since before the Roe vs Wade court case, which protected a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion. This didn’t go well with the anti-abortion believers, which is why the human life protection act was signed into law stating that this bill would make abortion or attempted abortion felony offenses unless it’s to prevent a serious health risk.
When women did not have legal access to abortions that’s when the issue became controversial because of the routes people had to take to get rid of the pregnancies. However, people believed that there wasn’t a human life formed if the woman didn’t feel any movements in her belly. According to Peterson, “most people in Western Europe and the United States did not believe human life was present until a pregnant woman felt the first fetal movements, a phenomenon referred to as quickening” (page 1). During the later stages of pregnancy, having an abortion was considered a crime but the punishment was less harsh compared to other forms of murder.
The legislative branch is involved with this issue for only the state of alabama. The bill does make some exceptions not for rape or incest but in situations of serious health problems to the mother. According to Andrews, “In a state that prioritizes “family values” giving full discretion to medical professionals strips families of the right to make decisions that are in their best interests, depending on health or circumstances” (pg 85-89). Due to this new law, it should guide people to take the alternative option which is adoption without having to kill a human being.
Names on the groups that are working on the issue are Alabama ACLU and Planned Parenthood Action Fund. Both organizations stated that they will do whatever it takes to stop this legislation. According to Reilly, “The Alabama ACLU announced on Twitter Wednesday that it will file a lawsuit alongside the national ACLU and Planned Parenthood to halt the legislation”. This bill shouldn’t be dismantling the health care that Alabama women need. They should continue getting access to the care they need instead of being threatened to take away this access. Advocates portray this bill as severe and unsafe, saying that it will endanger the lives of the women that are affected by it. These associations ensured that they will go to court if any politician wanted to attack their right to abortion.
The House Bill 314 is an alabama statute that was enacted on 05/15/2019 making abortions or attempted abortions felony offenses. The bill was first introduced in the alabama house of representatives on April 2, 2019 by Terry Collins. The bill establishes that all unborn children are persons. It bans abortions at every stage of pregnancy except when it’s necessary to prevent a serious health risk to the pregnant person. It was passed by the house by a 74-3 vote and later it was amended to include the exception for pregnancies that are the result of rape or incest. The day after the bill was passed by the Senate May 14, 2019, Governor Kay Ivey signed it into law. On October 29, 2019 U.S district judge Myron Thompson issued a preliminary against the abortion ban, preventing the legislation from entering into effect on November 15.
The likelihood that this policy will be enacted is unlikely because many other states have also tried to pass the heartbeat bill during the last 6 years. Some have failed in the committee and a lot of them were struck down or temporarily blocked by the federal courts. According to Heartbeat Bans, “On March 15, 2019, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) signed SB 9 into law, making it a felony to perform or induce an abortion when a fetal heartbeat has been detected. The law was immediately challenged and temporarily blocked in federal court” (2019). Heartbeat bills were an attempt to outlaw abortions as soon as a heartbeat can be detected.
This government issue will most likely not be passed because every abortion opponent will be challenged with the roe vs wade case. Alabama’s statute criminalizing abortion, Section 13A-13-7, has never been repealed. It has remained unenforceable as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade. This bill currently is temporarily blocked by the federal court because I think that it violates the right of women making their own choices in society. According to Rick Rojas, “Judge Myron H. Thompson of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama wrote that it violates Supreme Court precedent and “defies” the Constitution” (2019). Abortions remain legal in Alabama until it’s determined to pass or not because it was challenged by the A.C.L.U who provides abortions.
Many legal experts think that Roe vs Wade’s court decision will be overturned eventually by focusing on fetal personhood, which in fact has many different opinions as to the time when human personhood begins. So, the only logical solution to end this bill and other bills in the future supporting pro-life is by not undoing Roe.
Since the human life protection act is temporarily blocked, I feel like this option is best because I wouldn’t want this bill to pass and take away the choices of many pregnant women. Abortions should be a choice for every and anyone who thinks it’s the best option for them. Even if this law does get passed somewhere in the future, I don’t think it would last long due to the history of the past laws which didn’t go through or stay as a bill. This bill shouldn’t be passed because it includes pregnancies resulted from rape or incest which is not the mothers fault if she ends up impregnated. It’s for the best that the bill is in this state where it can be restrained from going ahead with this law that will change the lives of all the Alabama women. Men specifically and some women should stop deciding what women should do with their bodies and how it should be. If a person decides what’s best for themselves why should there be any judgement against that. This bill is unnecessary because it’s a repetition of perception and beliefs. This bill defeats the purpose of women’s rights because it wouldn’t have allowed the mother to make the decision for her own child that’s in her body. To add on, more than 50 million babies have been aborted in the United States since the Roe decision in 1973, so imagine how many abortions would’ve been done illegally and unsafely if it wasn’t for this decision.
Currently a legal challenge (Roe vs Wade) against the bill has delayed implementation. Opposing arguments that I haven’t previously considered is that people are just fighting for the life of the baby that’s technically a human after 20 weeks. In a article it stated that after 20 weeks the fetus begins to feel sensations like pain which backs up the anti-choice side of abortion. It is unfortunate that a life will be taken but it’s better this way than later on when the child gets older and becomes a foster child or worse because the mother didn’t want them. People need to be aware of the different outcomes that anti-abortion can lead to. In some cases it may be a good choice to decide for the many but in this case it’s not a good choice to decide what’s beneficial to the mother and child. If it was passed this bill would make abortion and attempted abortion felony offenses except in cases when it’s necessary to prevent a serious health risk to the pregnant person which is such a ridiculous and ludicrous punishment. This argument does make sense because if the fetus can feel it’s basically alive but it doesn’t fit with my argument because since the baby is inside the woman, it’s the woman’s body which means it’s the woman’s choice to establish if she wants her child or not.
To voice my view with someone on the anti-abortion side, I would present my reasons on how my ways are more logical and safe and add an explanation of why my argument is best. The reasons that are wise is that the Supreme Court has declared abortion to be a fundamental right guaranteed by the U.S constitution, Personhood begins after a fetus becomes physically fitted to live, and women who receive abortions are less likely to suffer mental health problems than women denied abortions. My argument is best because a woman shouldn’t have to face consequences from something that she didn’t do on her own.
In my opinion the abortion debate will always be an ongoing dispute surrounding moral and religious beliefs. Pro-choice and pro-life movements will continue to influence public opinion and attain legal support. The political debate usually surrounds a right to privacy which is an inalienable right granted to the citizens and is not subject to withdrawal by the government. It is our right to regulate whatever medical practices that is done to our bodies.