Newly passed abortion laws in Alabama and Georgia restrict women from making their own choice.
By Savannah Simmons, Opinion Editor
Abortion laws passed in Alabama and Georgia have caused outrage in women and pro-life supporters around the country.
Signed by Republican Gov. Kay Ivey, Alabama now has the strictest abortion laws, with almost all abortion banned including in cases of rape and incest. Doctors found guilty of performing an abortion could face 99 years in jail. This bill has launched women everywhere, including celebrities, to speak out about abortions they have had to raise awareness and normalize the idea.
“I had an abortion when I was 15 years old,” said actress and night show host, Busy Philipps, on her show, Busy Tonight. “I’m telling you this because I’m genuinely really scared for women and girls all over the country.” After sharing her story, Philipps encouraged other women to share their experiences with abortion by using the hashtag #youknowme.
Other popular celebrities including Nicki Minaj, Whoopi Goldberg, Chelsea Handler, and Jameela Jamil have all spoken out about their own stories of why they decided to have abortions themselves.
The stories that have been shared show bravery, courage, fear and humility. The women talking about the topic of abortion are not only sharing their own accounts, but ones from underage neighbors, friends and siblings that could not get their own form of emergency contraception or birth control. Taking away the right for women to make their own decisions about their body is beyond alarming and the women and advocates speaking out against this bill are to be commended.
The only exceptions to this new law would be “to avoid a serious health risk to the unborn child’s mother,” for ectopic pregnancy and if the “unborn child has a lethal anomaly” which means “the absence of the brain and cranium above the base of the skull, leading to death before or shortly after birth.” This bill passed 25-6 in the Alabama Senate and a motion to make an exception for rape and incest failed 11-21.
With Georgia being the latest to sign what is known as the “heartbeat bill”, Missouri, Mississippi, Kentucky, Arkansas and Ohio all passed similar bill in March and April. These are bills which put a ban on any abortions where a fetal heartbeat can be detected.
According to americanpregnancy.org, heartbeats are able to be detected as early as five and a half to seven weeks, which could be even before a woman even knows she is pregnant.
“We vowed to fight this dangerous abortion ban every step of the way and we meant what we said,” said Staci Fox, president and CEO at Planned Parenthood Southeast in a statement. “We haven’t lost a case in Alabama yet and we don’t plan to start now. We will see Governor Ivey in court. In the meantime, abortion is still safe, legal, and available in the state of Alabama and we plan to keep it that way.”