The Georgia state legislature passed a bill that would ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which occurs around week six of a pregnancy. In order for it to become law, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp must sign the bill.
This is a likely outcome since the Republican governor has voiced support for the bill, and similar legislation has been signed into law by the governors of Mississippi and Kentucky.
More states are expected to follow this trend and pass abortion measures that restrict women’s right to their own bodies and disregard the Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade. In fact, the goal of many politicians in these states is to overturn Roe v. Wade and further strip women of their privacy and ownership of their own bodies.
This fetal heartbeat bill is particularly bad because a heartbeat can be detected so early on in a pregnancy. If a woman gets pregnant and is not supposed to get her period for another month after the egg is fertilized, she would only have two weeks to figure out she is pregnant and decide whether or not to keep the baby.
That is assuming the woman finds out she is pregnant in the first six weeks. Often it takes longer than that to confirm a pregnancy. Additionally, the decision to have an abortion is not an easy one that can be made in under a week. It requires a lot of thought and can cause emotional trauma on the mother’s part.
You would think in Georgia — the U.S. state reported to have the highest maternal mortality rate in a 2018 report from America’s Health Rankings — that the government would want to help the women in their state rather than further threaten their safety and rights.
The Georgia Department of Public Health found in its 2014 Maternal Mortality Report that 60 percent of pregnancy-related deaths were preventable, yet many women continue to go without access to adequate, lifesaving healthcare.
Furthermore, this country has the highest death rates from pregnancy-related complications in the developed world. Black women also face a three to four times greater risk of pregnancy-related deaths than white women.
I am thoroughly disgusted at the politicians and Americans supporting this bill. Our top priority should be to figure out why so many of our women are dying and fix it. Making abortions illegal will only likely raise the numbers of deaths because desperate women will turn to illegal, unsafe ways to get an abortion.
Mississippi also passed a heartbeat law, yet the state has the highest infant mortality rate and the worst overall care for children and infants in the country. If they were truly pro-life and cared about the fetus, this would not be the case.
This just goes to show that these legislators are not pro-life. It appears they do not mind letting the women of this country die. They are anti-woman in the sense that they want to take away the rights to her own body and privacy.
The ultimate goal of this bill is to overturn or weaken Roe v. Wade, since the issue of abortion will eventually be taken to the Supreme Court if laws that contradict the case continue to be signed in. With the most conservative Supreme Court in recent memory, I fear the banning of abortions is not impossible or too far off in the future.
It is tragic to watch this country attempt to go back in time and undo all we have accomplished. As a woman, I do not know if I can continue to live in this country if the right to my own body is taken from me.