In mid-May of 2019, laws were passed in 8 states to restrict or ban abortions—a direct violation of Roe v. Wade, a Supreme Court case from 1973, which, according to Planned Parenthood, states that access to safe and legal abortion is a constitutional right.
Alabama, the most extreme of all states in this subject, has banned all abortions, with no exceptions for those who have been sexually assaulted or have medical needs that don’t immediately result in death. Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, and Ohio have passed what are called “heartbeat bills”, which prohibit abortions after six to eight weeks of pregnancy (when doctors can usually start detecting a fetal heartbeat). There are several other states that have introduced these bills and bans in the past month as well, or have the bills pending approval.
Oregon’s House Bill 3391, also known as the Reproductive Health Equity Act, “is a bill that provides for expanded coverage for some Oregonians to access free reproductive health services [abortions, birth control, etc.], especially for those who, in the past, may have not been eligible for coverage of these services,” says the Oregon Government website. It also prohibits discrimination in the supplying of these services. Contrary to the laws of many other states in this country, people with uteruses in Oregon have the choice of what to do with their bodies.
In this state, they have the “privilege” of being able to choose what they do or do not do with their bodies. It should not be a “privilege” to be able to be in charge of your personal choices, it should be a right, and something not up for debate. We’re not out here forcing people that can get people pregnant to do anything with their body parts, so why is this different? Illegalizing abortion will do hardly anything to prevent them from happening.
Since the beginning of time, people have been getting abortions. This ban will just make it difficult, if not impossible, to receive a safe and healthy one. If the opportunity to safely and legally perform abortions disappears, the coat hangers—a classic image of the self induced abortion—will come back. We need to be angry. We need to vote, write, call. Maybe we can make a difference if our voices are loud enough.