Arkansas abortion law defies women’s rights, Constitution
Published: Thursday, March 7, 2013
Updated: Thursday, March 7, 2013 01:03
Abortion has been a highly-debated issue in America since the American Law Institute proposed the first code that states should follow when enacting related laws in 1959.
Since the historic Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade in 1973, the issue has been shrouded in hostility over the specifications of state and federal laws, religious animosity and dissenting opinions regarding women’s rights.
The most recent controversy revolves around a bill being pushed through the Arkansas legislature that would make it illegal for a woman to have an abortion when a noticeable heartbeat can be detected on an ultrasound.
The bill, called the Human Heartbeat Protection Act (HHPA), was passed by the Republican majority in the Arkansas legislature. It is the strictest challenge to the Supreme Court’s previous rulings on the matter.
Pushing this bill through the Arkansas legislature, including overriding Gov. Mike Beebe’s veto, is a clear representation of the unrelenting faction of religious anti-choicers who will do whatever they can to override the constitution to get what they want.
This bill, and many like it, show that the division of church and state has been trampled over to deny a woman’s right to do what she pleases with her body.
The issue of abortion revolves around one important facet or question that the U.S. has been arguing about for more than 50 years. It is possible we will never reach a consensus.
That facet is determining when, during a pregnancy, a fetus can be considered a human life.
In order for abortion to be considered illegal, anti-abortionists have to prove that a fetus is a life and not simply a collection of cells inside a woman’s womb.
Homicide, in any moral or ethical ideology, is wrong. But there is no way of determining when a fetus should be considered alive. The Supreme Court verdict of Roe v. Wade determined, that life exists when the child could viably live outside of the womb — around 24 weeks into the pregnancy.
What Arkansas is trying to do is overturn the Supreme Court’s ruling to please the religious right’s anti-abortion agenda. This is the same party who championed ignorant rants about forced trans-vaginal ultrasounds, “legitimate rape” and compared abortion practices to Rwandan genocide and the Holocaust.
Bills like the HHPA blatantly disregard a woman’s Constitutional and reproductive rights and undermine the Supreme Court’s unbiased ruling. It should not be allowed into law in any state.
Robert Scime is a senior majoring in mass communications