By: Lacy Blanton, Guest Journalist
June 2022: It was a dark time for many Americans across the nation, as on the 24th of that month, the Supreme Court had issued a decision concerning the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health bill, overturning Roe v. Wade. The protection to the legal right to abortion was eliminated; with this, numerous states had begun to ban the rights and access to abortion.
On September 15th, 2022: The state of Indiana, my home-state, fell victim to this deadly decision of a bill. The mere exceptions of legal access in Indiana are in the the cases of rape, incest, fatal fetal abnormalities, or to preserve the life and physical health of the person who is pregnant before 10 weeks after conceivement.
I vividly remember the time it had all occurred. Ads, social media posts, news segments, and YouTube videos capturing images of those fighting in protest, or in support of this controversial bill. I recall many clinics being ushered to shut down in response, and the unwavering sound of victory at my evangelistic church. In addition, my church has recently implemented a drive to donate infant products and necessities to a pro-life organization for “mothers in desperate need”.
I am here to express my anguish and disgust at such passing of a bill, how morally wrong it is in many ways, and how this option in mind must be the pregnant woman’s decision, not the government’s.
Many opposers will try to express how abortion is the murderous hunting of innocent unborn children. How the women who are proceeding with abortion are selfish, cold-hearted vipers. How clinics such as “Planned Parenthood” are greedy corporations who are unapologetically open about eliminating unborn life.
According to “KFF’s ‘Key Facts on Abortion in the United States’”, data before the Dobbs decision had gathered that a vast 92% of abortions occur during the first trimester of pregnancy. With this knowledge: we know that in the first trimester in a woman’s pregnancy, the embryo or fetus is a clump of biological molecules undergoing chemical reactions. Therefore, this leads us to the idea that this “baby” is not considered truly living.
Those who seek abortion as an option are a whole spectrum. They go through the procedures all for differing reasons. It is an immense injustice to label them and envision them in a negative light. “Planned Parenthood’s ‘Our Abortions, Our Stories’” shares the anecdotes of women from around the US, giving their reasons as to why they chose the path they did. One woman said in the article, “My stepfather abused me from age 8 to 17. At 15 I became pregnant and lied to my mother that it was my boyfriend’s. I had an abortion because the mental and physical abuse continued afterwards…”. Another lady said, “When I was 20 I had an abortion. Being so young and barely getting by financially, I was in no position whatsoever to have a child…”. A third said, “…At age 31, I had a 3 ½ year old son and was pregnant with my second child… My husband and I found that the baby had several heart defects. We went to see several specialists to see if his heart could be fixed after he was born. They told us that he would live and grow in utero, but would die after birth… We decided to spare him the suffering and interrupted the pregnancy at 22 weeks.”
“Planned Parenthood” is a health organization that has a 3% abortion service, with the majority of their work consisting of STD testing and treatment, cancer screenings, infertility services, and offering sex education. To get an abortion through them, the organization has you meet with your doctor, nurse, or health counselor to discuss whether abortion is the best decision for you. Even if one is adamant about going through the procedure, they emphasize that they will halt everything if you change your mind, even as far as the surgical removal. With these facts, it shows how precise and supportive Planned Parenthood is, and always looks to the best interest no matter what one decides.
“Capital B”’s Kenya Hunter gave insight on a reproductive rights group launching a campaign, and also gave how they advocate that abortion bans are racist against the Black community in America. The group, known as “Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity” or “URGE”, had its Georgia organizer say, “We aren’t just strictly coming from a lens of what’s happening with our wombs or with our uterus,.. [Abortion bans] have a trickle-down effect. People with low income have to bring in another child that they can’t afford. The point of the ‘Abortion Bans Are Racist’ campaign is to make sure the conversation isn’t just about abortion… but how does this further create disparities within our communities?”. Additionally, their campaign had researchers who predicted to them that with more people forced to carry out their pregnancy, this will result in increased risks in bad maternal health. As a Georgia-based news organization: Hunter points out how the state’s Black women are already three-times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than White women.
As of 2023, only three US states have the right to abortion in full status. These states being California, Michigan, and Vermont.
I, like many others, find this decision from our Supreme Court to be disappointing and discouraging. This is a reminder that our country still has room for improvement regarding a human’s right.
We cannot change the mind’s of every individual, but if we can show the Supreme Court the dangers to this passed bill, perhaps they can reconsider this injustice.
Fortunately, we are not alone in this protest. As Kenya Hunter had discussed, URGE’s ‘Abortion Bans Are Racist’ campaign is just one of many groups fighting against this ban.
This isn’t based on a viewpoint that is politically-motivated, and with the harms that this ban is capable of as mentioned: it is unavoidable to point out its concerning flaws. Kaelea Lucas, the Georgia organizer for URGE, said it best; “The decision of what somebody does with their body and whether or not they are going to get an abortion ultimately should be between that person, family, and maybe a medical provider if that’s what feels comfortable to them,… But who should not be involved is the government. There should be no political reasoning for anything like abortion bans.” Banning the right to abortion sends the wrong message to so many. It silences voices, gives misinformation about clinics like “Planned Parenthood”, gives ignorance to the idea that “babies” are being “killed”, and drastically affects the Black community in health and finances. With this ban and absurd claims continuing to be established, we are going to do more harm than good toward women and their overall health.