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“Every life is precious and that every life is a sacred gift from god”, says the same person who also signed 7 execution orders in her tenure. Yes, we are talking about Governor Kay Ivey from Alabama who, in recent times, signed into law the Alabama Human Life Protection Act or more colloquially known as the abortion ban. This is now the most stringent abortion ban in the United States. Essentially, the act says that it is a felony for a doctor to perform an abortion in nearly all cases except when it directly affects the health of the mother in which case an abortion is absolutely necessary. Keep in mind that these “exceptions’ do not include factors like rape or incest. Let’s delve into some history first before we can analyze the current state of things.
It all started with the infamous 1973 case, Roe v. Wade in the United States Supreme Court. This case says that a pregnant woman has the right to choose whether or not she wants an abortion. But this right was not absolute, as in, it must be balanced with the government’s interests in protecting women’s health and prenatal life. Since all the recent abortion laws or so-called “heartbeat” bills ban aborting a fetus immediately after detecting a heartbeat which can sometimes be as early as six weeks which is a time frame where some people don’t even know if they are pregnant or not. Some people like Terri Collins, an Alabama State Representative, openly mention that their intention to overturn the decision of Roe v. Wade.
There is a widespread “Pro-life” movement that is going on everywhere but what is “Pro-Life”? The basic premise is that it is wrong to intentionally kill an innocent human being and apparently abortion intentionally kills an innocent human being and therefore abortion is wrong. REALLY?! Is this really the premise upon which such draconian laws like that of Alabama’s are made? Alabama has quite literally turned into a state where rapists and guns have more rights than the women residing in the state. A state that killed thousands of African-Americans in the 60s is now preaching how precious all life is.
One of the worst public education systems in the US; One of the poorest states in the US; One of the worst health care systems in the US; and now one of the worst laws in the US; Alabama is really developing a reputation for these kind of things these days. Someone needs to let these conservatives know that if they don’t want to use birth control or if they don’t want to marry a person of the same sex or they don’t want to have an abortion, it’s up to them but they have no business telling others how to live their life. This might sound like a much more serious version of the Comedy Central Roast but I assure you that these are straight facts. Thousands of people are campaigning against these very laws just for the sheer hypocrisy of it all other than the more obvious reason, the provisions in the act itself. Polls say that close to 57% of the American population disapprove of the ban and politically, even though some of the “main-stream” republicans are distancing themselves from Ivey’s abortion ban, there sure is more of a republican support than democratic.
Even people who consider themselves ardent supporters of the “Pro-Life” movement in Alabama and the rest of the US are shocked by there being no exceptions for factors like rape and incest. But we have already discussed the sorry state of Alabama (Pun Intended) and there is really not much to go on about when it comes to this particular abortion ban. After all, it is just another bill supporting “human rights’. The tagline for the abortion ban should rather just be “Life is precious…. until you are born”.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Arjun Ramprasad is a second year law student at Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad. He is an avid writer. His key area of interest is criminal law.
In Content Picture Credit: Bloomberg