**This article is partially an opinion piece**
“Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.” Maya Angelou
Gender equality is an ongoing issue with many ups and downs. We see progress, and then we take three steps back and the progress is lost. Women’s rights and the protection of those rights are currently under fire in terms of abortion and what a woman is legally able to do with her body.
In 1970, a case widely known as, Roe v. Wade challenged the idea of abortion and how making abortion illegal violated personal privacy. Personal privacy is protected by the First, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments. After asking the question, “Does the Constitution recognize a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy by abortion?” the vote was 7-2, the seven in the favor of women. It was then decided that during the first trimester, the state may not be the one to regulate the abortion. During the second trimester, the state may only regulate the abortion due to the maternal health. The third trimester is when a state may prohibit abortions unless the abortion is necessary to save the life of the mother.
This case was conducted in 1970 and was decided in 1973. Forty-eight years later, a new decision has been made against abortions. Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas signed the Heartbeat Bill on May 19th placing a ban on abortions as early as six weeks. This bill bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat has been detected which can become a concern to many women as most do not know they are pregnant at this time. The signing of this bill was placed following the U.S. Supreme Court saying they would look into a case in Mississippi that could push for a ban on abortions after 15 weeks.
Concerns With This Bill
Aside from the right to choose being revoked, this bill also includes cases of incest and rape. Even if a woman has been sexually assaulted by a stranger, or even a family member, in the eyes of Texas law, she is not able to have an abortion if a heartbeat is detected. The communities hope is that this will be looked into as it is unlawful.
The bill has been turned over to Texas private citizens who are not eligible to sue abortion clinics or anyone who has helped another person have an abortion after a heartbeat has been detected. This person does not have to personally know the individuals to sue.
Thoughts From a Woman
Pregnancy is a sacred thing for a woman. When we are children, some of us dream to be mothers, and some do not. Infertility is a common issue many women have and adoption is an option many of them use. While bringing a child into the world is a beautiful thing, not every woman is ready, and she shouldn’t be forced to do something she does not want to do. Life is full of choices, let her make this choice for herself.