Stop Denying Women Healthcare

Stop+Denying+Women+Healthcare

Even as a sixteen year old living in the United States, I can’t help but feel that alongside other women, I am losing rights that the generations before me fought so diligently to gain. It seems that we’re moving back in time rather than forward, and now, with a mostly male Supreme Court, men are allowed the right to make crucial decisions on our bodies. They are doing so without so much as listening to our wants or needs, while lacking the essential knowledge of what these decisions will do to us; the harm they will undoubtedly result in. It has been confirmed through a leaked opinion of the Supreme Court that the decision of the 1973 case Roe v. Wade, the only document preventing states and the federal government from putting a complete ban on abortions, may soon be overturned. Regardless of your personal opinions towards this topic, your religious or political views and beliefs, I ask that you read this article and do your own research to educate yourself on just how important access to safe abortions truly are.

What will happen if Roe v. Wade is overturned? Well, a lot of things. To start, there are thirteen states (as of now) in America that have a set of ‘trigger-laws’ in place to be enacted immediately if Roe v. Wade is overturned. These states include: Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Utah, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi. These states plan for a complete ban against abortion if they get the chance to do so in the near future. Roe v. Wade limits states from completely preventing access to abortions, ruling that [under the 14th amendment] abortions [are] constitutionally protected up until about 23 weeks when a fetus [can] be able to live outside the womb .Of the thirteen states that have created these ‘trigger-laws’, only four make exceptions for cases of sexual assault and three for cases of incest. However, all states will allow a woman to receive an abortion if her life would be risked during child birth. The fact that some may see that as a major relief is unbelievably saddening in itself, as that shouldn’t have to be a worry in the first place. Lawmakers should be making laws to protect us, but it’s evident they’re doing anything but.

Let’s make one thing clear: Banning abortion does not actually ban abortion, it just bans safe ones. There are a number of dangerous ways a woman can give herself an abortion (though I will not give examples for this as they can be quite disturbing). By taking away access to safe abortions, women who cannot travel over state lines to get an abortion may resort to other risky, sometimes life-threatening methods to avoid child birth. On top of this, women may not have the financial means to support a child if they are accidentally impregnated, or they may not be ready for one in general. While giving the child up for adoption is always an option, after nine months of carrying your own child in your stomach, even if you didn’t initially want to take care of one, many women may become somewhat emotionally attached to their baby and find it too difficult to say goodbye after giving birth. 

It is a simple fact that one cannot deny: The cost of healthcare in the United States is out of control and much too high for the average person to afford. These same lawmakers that deny woman abortions are not working hard enough to lower the cost of giving birth and being cared for in a hospital. For example, It costs $15,162, on average, to give birth in an Alabama hospital. Think about that for a second. That is the cost to give birth to your own child in a hospital after carrying it in your own stomach for nine months. Alabama, which has already put extremely strict abortion bans in place prior to the Supreme Court considering striking down Roe v. Wade, values you and your child’s life so much that they will charge you fifteen thousand dollars just for birthing it. That’s not even including the cost of medicine needed throughout pregnancy, or even baby formula (which has gotten outrageously expensive over time – One specific 31.4 ounce can at Stop & Shop is currently selling for $39.99). Using Alabama as an example once again, it is clear that this issue is not new, in fact, it’s been an ongoing one for years: In 2017, some 93% of Alabama counties had no clinics that provided abortions, and 59% of Alabama women lived in those counties. If lawmakers wish for all pregnant women to give birth, why do they not consider the major expenses involved in doing so and instead take away the facilities plenty of women are in need of?

This is an issue that will only harm and endanger women across the nation. Please, put your own beliefs aside: You do not have to be pro-abortion to believe that it’s a woman’s own right to choose to have one herself. It is synonymous with healthcare. Denying women abortions is denying them essential medical treatment. Like so many others, I feel so much fear and anger around the fact that whether or not Roe v. Wade is overturned is entirely up to the Supreme Court, mostly men who will never understand the reproductive health of female bodies firsthand, that will never carry a child of their own, or birth a child they may not be ready to have. I am heartbroken for all the women who live in states with plans to ban abortion and fear that if they ever need to recieve one, they may be unable to do so and feel unsupported by the lawmakers in charge of protecting them. I am grateful to live in a state that has protected access to abortions, but that does not mean I cannot express my feelings about other parts of the country that are not doing the same. In 2022, let’s hope our lawmakers and the Supreme Court choose to move forward rather than going back in time and reversing what women have fought so hard for: Our basic human rights.