Recently, in the USA, Alabama state legislature passed the Alabama Human Life Protection Act. Under this act, abortion is banned - with the exception of when the life of the mother is in jeopardy - in all circumstances. And doctors face the punishment of life in prison if they perform abortions.
Today, I signed into law the Alabama Human Life Protection Act. To the bill’s many supporters, this legislation stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians’ deeply held belief that every life is precious & that every life is a sacred gift from God. https://t.co/DwKJyAjSs8 pic.twitter.com/PIUQip6nmw— Governor Kay Ivey (@GovernorKayIvey) May 15, 2019
Simply put, the law - that was passed with a majority - controls women's bodies more than women can themselves. And there is absolutely nothing about this that is fair, makes sense, or in the current time and age, even acceptable.
Because this law takes us back to the dark ages where a body's biological functions alone determine the person's life. With all the medical advancements that we have today, abortion should be a basic right for the women. But instead, abortion has been made illegal.
And it has been made illegal by a group of men who've never had to go through what the female body goes through when preparing for a child.
take a look. these are the idiots making decisions for WOMEN in America.— Rihanna (@rihanna) May 16, 2019
Governor Kay Ivey...SHAME ON YOU!!!! pic.twitter.com/WuAjSVv6TH
A group of men who think they have the right to control the bodies of millions of women.
It's truly harrowing that even in today's time and age, there is still a need to explain why women deserve autonomy over their own body.
As a woman, when you ban abortion for me, you're telling me that I have no right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. I may not be emotionally, financially, physically, or mentally prepared to raise a child, but I still have to go through with it.
When you ban abortion for me, you're telling me that if my pregnancy is the result of a horrific rape, I still need to raise the child. The same child who may never truly receive the kind of love and care that every child deserves, because he or she may serve as a reminder of an emotionally and physically heartwrenching incident for the mother.
As a woman living in a country where female safety is a joke, the fact that I will have to carry a reminder of an unfortunate incident does not teach me 'the value of life'. It just makes me realize that my rapist, my unborn child, and society have a bigger say over my life than I have.
When you ban abortion and make the punishment for it more severe than the punishment rapists are subjected to, you're stating that doctors performing their duties are bigger criminals than a person violating the laws of humanity.
You're telling me that my rapist will be allowed to 'mend' his ways, and be a part of the 'civil society' but my doctor will have to serve a life sentence for trying to save a life - mine. Clearly, my life holds no importance. But yes, please, give my rapist a second chance at life.
When you ban abortion, you are putting both young girls and women at a far greater risk, where in trying circumstances, they will resort to illegal measures and be subjected to unwarranted trauma.
When you ban abortion you are making birth control ONLY a woman's responsibility. Because guess whose body has to grow a child in case birth control fails? A woman. And current birth control practices are either not foolproof, or expensive to procure, or put a woman under undue physical pressure - even if we ignore the financial and emotional strain.
When a section of the society does not feel women should control their bodies, how can they even begin to understand that women can have control over their desires? How do you explain to that section of society that not all women wish to be mothers? What do you tell that section that sex can be simply an activity to enjoy and not necessarily a means of reproduction?
However, the greatest question here is, why do we - as women - need to explain any section of society what we wish to do with our own bodies?
Yes, one could take this discussion to also state how men don't have to do a single thing to avoid a pregnancy. They don't have to limit their sexual urges, consume pills that screw their normal bodily functions or undergo judgemental stares from the doctors.
But the point here is not about what men are allowed to get away with. The point here is that as humans, everyone should have the right to govern their body. It should not be a gender-specific right.
Similarly, when questions are raised on how men can desire to be fathers, then the answer should be pretty obvious - to find a partner who has the same desires. Because like Rachel Green said it more than a decade ago, 'no uterus, no opinion'.
Abortion is a physically and emotionally taxing experience for the woman. So, no, the life of a two-month-old fetus cannot hold greater importance than the life of a fully grown woman. The embryo you're trying to save has not had a life full of dreams, mistakes, hopes, and aspirations. The girl or woman whose life you're tying to that embryo does.
Today, Alabama is under scrutiny because it's the latest state to pass as abhorrent a law as anti-abortion. But the conditions are no better in India either. For young unmarried women in India, seeking an abortion is not safe, and in many cases, not even legal. These are the women that get preyed upon by hospitals or doctors looking to exploit them for money, or worse.
It's been a long fight, but we haven't even scraped the surface when it comes to providing women equal standing in the world today. And anti-abortion laws such as these just brush away years of fighting for equal rights.