46 years after the historic Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, which determined that women have the right to choose whether or not they are going to have an abortion, regressive states like Alabama have reopened Pandora’s box on this issue.
Alabama is not alone in taking fundamental steps backward when it comes to the argument over a woman’s right to choose. States such as Texas, Missouri and Georgia have proposed bills that ban abortion once a fetal heartbeat has been detected — and conservatives all across the country are fighting for the same actions to be taken.
Out of the states, Alabama is one of the most restrictive because it excludes rape and incest cases. The only conditions acceptable in terminating the pregnancy is if it is ectopic — the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus — or if the unborn baby has a “lethal anomaly.”
But beyond the issue of conservatives voicing their stance, it seems that one group of individuals are most vocal: men.
Specifically, the Alabama State Senate made up of 25 upper-class white Republican men.
Besides licensed professionals, there will rarely be a time or place where a man will know the best interest of a woman’s body more than a woman herself.
Excluding rape cases from this law is dangerous considering the millions of rapes that are reported every year.
On a college campus alone, 11 percent of women experience rape or sexual abuse. This ban is putting these students at risk for unsafe abortions.
Most recently, it was announced Tuesday that Missouri will be one of the first states in the U.S to offer no abortion services since Roe v. Wade, according to the New York Times.
Young women will not have the support of their lawmakers to terminate their pregnancies so they may be forced to endure life-threatening procedures and use unsafe tools. Unfortunately, some become a part of the statistic of 30,000 women who die from unsafe abortions every year, according to The Atlantic.
With this anti-abortion bill, the number of fatalities is bound to increase.
Under the Alabama abortion ban, a doctor who performs an abortion could be charged with up to 99 years in prison.
The recent Texas bill that failed would have charged doctors who performed abortions with assault or criminal homicide, which could potentially result in the death penalty.
Yet, the average rapist serves about 10 years in prison.
We live in a system where a doctor could serve a longer sentence than a rapist for performing a procedure. If men were put in these situations, would these laws still be in place?
State Legislators are failing women and everything Roe v. Wade stands for.
It shouldn’t matter if you are personally anti-abortion or if you are pro-life.
You can have a personal stance without limiting the right for women to choose.
Alyssa Stewart is a junior majoring in integrated public relations and advertising.