Abortion Laws

May 17, 2022

For the past 50 years, the right for women to have an abortion has been a constant battle. More recently, many states have passed bills making it illegal to provide and/or receive an abortion.

On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court settled the Roe v Wade case. This case made history because it established a woman’s legal right to an abortion. It ruled any state that illegalizes abortion as unconstitutional. Currently, many states are violating the guidelines of Roe v Wade by illegalizing the act of abortion.

On September 1, 2021, Senate Bill 8 was signed. Also known as the “Texas Heartbeat Act,” this bill illegalized the act of receiving or inducing an abortion once a heartbeat is detected. A heartbeat is typically detected at about 6 weeks, before most women have even realized that they are pregnant. 

There is no punishment for receiving an abortion; however, if a doctor was to perform an abortion, or if there was any reason to believe that they had the intention of performing one, they face the risk of getting sued. This also applies to anyone who assists a woman in receiving an abortion. Any person who effectively sues the people involved receives a reward of $10,000. The reward is intended to make people more inclined to report an abortion.

While this bill does make an exception for mothers who have a risk of having any medical complications, there are no more exceptions. This means that a woman cannot receive an abortion, even if the pregnancy is due to rape, incest, or human trafficking. 

On March 3, 2022, HB 5 was approved by the Florida Legislature. This bill, also known as the “Fetal and Infant Mortality Reduction,” illegalized the act of getting an abortion after 15 weeks in the state of Florida.  The bill goes into effect on July 1, 2022. As of right now, the penalty for performing an abortion is the charge of a felony. There are no penalties for receiving one, though. 

There are two exceptions to this law. One is if two physicians say, in writing, that an abortion is necessary to save the mother’s life. The other is if there is reason to believe that the fetus has a fatal abnormality. This, once again, means that there are no exceptions when it comes to rape, incest, or human trafficking.

On May 3, 2022, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt signed a bill banning abortions after 6 weeks. This bill is much like Texas’ where as soon as a heartbeat is detected, an abortion is no longer legal. Again, most women do not even know they are pregnant at this time. 

This bill’s penalties are the same as in Texas. Any doctor who performs one can get sued and anyone who effectively reports them will be granted $10,000.

The only exception to this bill is if there is a medical emergency on the mother’s part.

These laws going into effect set us back nearly half a century. After a long-winded debate, we’re regressing back to the very beginning. Many women feel that they have fought for nothing and lost everything.

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