Heartbeat Bill: When Politics Gets Personal

In 1973, Norma McCorvey, also known as Jane Roe, accomplished a huge goal of the second-wave feminism movement. She became a hero of every desperate young woman who had her life ahead of her. She also became a powerful symbol for every woman, regardless of age. She fought the patriarchy in full-swing, and because of her courage, we won the rights to our bodies. This victory led to a lot of backlash back in the 70s, and to this day, people are still adamant about stripping away our bodily autonomy.

Fetuses develop a heartbeat at around six weeks, according to The New York Times. That simple ‘putter putter’ has been at the heart of the recent abortion controversy surrounding a somewhat new law in some states.

The "Heartbeat Bill" has been at the center of the ongoing women’s rights debate. A version of this bill illegalizes doctors to perform an abortion after six weeks of fetal development. In some states, the bill has been drafted again to illegalize abortions at twelve weeks. The former version became law in North Dakota, the latter became law in Arkansas and the bill has been introduced in seven states.

Ohio recently made headlines when Governor Mike DeWine stated that if the bill were presented on his desk, he would sign it, despite his predecessor, presidential candidate John Kasich, vetoing it. The Supreme Court has also stood by their historic decision in favor of Ms. McCorvey and declared the original six-week bill to be unconstitutional.

And it is! Most women do not even realize they are pregnant when the fetus is six weeks old, so this bill proposition is basically just a loophole that the anti-choice crowd has discovered. It’s ridiculous and wrong to defy the Supreme Court, especially in a case that means so much to so many people.

Floridian women are now being targeted, too. Currently in the state of Florida, an abortion is legal up until 24 weeks of pregnancy. Personally, I do not believe that this allocates enough time for a woman to make a very hard decision, but I guess I’ll just let the old men in Florida’s government make my decisions for me. This limited 24 weeks might be threatened with the introduction of the Heartbeat Bill by Republican Mike Hill of Pensacola, Florida.

Again, our constitutional rights are being manipulated and questioned. I wonder if there will ever be a day in my lifetime where my right to my body will no longer be controversial. I am fortunate to never have needed an abortion, but I know so many women across a spectrum of ages who have been subjected to this horrendous and politicized process.

The Heartbeat Bill does significantly more harm than good to women. If you would like to get involved and fight this unconstitutional bill, then supporting Planned Parenthood is a good place to start. Only a small portion of what Planned Parenthood does is related to abortions, but they’re always targeted in this discussion. Standing with them is an easy way to getting involved. Additionally, voting for representatives who will protect the rights of women across all levels of government can really spark some change.