I Call For A Boycott Of Sex: How The United States Is Trying To Ban Abortion

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I Call For A Boycott Of Sex: How The United States Is Trying To Ban Abortion
I Call For A Boycott Of Sex: How The United States Is Trying To Ban Abortion

Video: I Call For A Boycott Of Sex: How The United States Is Trying To Ban Abortion

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Video: New Abortion Law In Texas Is Among Most Restrictive In US, Critics Say 2023, January

Alexandra Savina

Over the past couple of weeks across the American states a wave of bills made it difficult to access abortion. Georgia, Alabama, Missouri are just a few of the states on the list, where they are trying to one way or another limit the possibility of terminating unwanted pregnancies. We figure out what happened - and is it true that abortion in the United States may be banned.

To be more precise, the attack on women's reproductive rights began not in May, but even earlier: for example, in 2018, a similar bill was approved in Iowa, but it was rejected by a state court. Kentucky, Mississippi and Ohio have passed bills to make it difficult to access abortion this year - although they have yet to go into effect and it is possible that they, like the Iowa bill, will be challenged in court. Nonetheless, anti-abortion initiatives seem to have accelerated in recent days. It all started in Georgia: on May 7, Governor Brian Kemp signed a law banning abortion as soon as a doctor can detect a heartbeat in the fetus. This happens at a period of about six weeks, and at this stage many women do not yet know that they are pregnant (we are talking about a delay in the cycle) or do not have time to take the necessary action. The law also provides for exceptions: if there is a threat to the life of the mother or fetus, and if the pregnancy has occurred as a result of rape or incest. True, in the event of violence, a woman who wants to have an abortion will have to confirm that she has filed a report with the police - according to human rights organizations, out of 1000 cases of rape in the United States, only 230 reach the police, that is, less than a quarter. The law is due to take effect on January 1.

Changes followed in Alabama and Missouri. Alabama's bill, which Gov. Kay Ivey signed on May 15, is the toughest of all. It prohibits termination of pregnancy in almost any situation, including violence or incest. The only exception is if pregnancy seriously threatens the health of the mother (she will have to prove a threat to mental health in this case) or if the state of health of the fetus threatens with miscarriage or is incompatible with life. Doctors performing the procedure face up to 99 years in prison.

On May 7, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed into law prohibiting abortion as soon as a doctor can detect a heartbeat in the fetus.

On May 16, the upper house of the state parliament, the Missouri Senate, passed a similar bill. It prohibits termination of pregnancy beyond eight weeks (again including pregnancy due to rape or incest) - except for medical reasons. And this is given that in Missouri everything is already quite strict: last year, due to stricter requirements in the state, there was only one clinic that has the right to terminate a pregnancy. State Governor Mike Parson has not yet signed the bill, but there is every reason to believe that he will - he has already stated that he wants to make Missouri "one of the most powerful proliferating states."

Many fear the laws will also target women who self-terminate pregnancies, such as with a medical abortion, as well as those who face miscarriages due to their own actions or leave for abortions in other states. True, not everyone is sure that the law will indeed be used to prosecute women themselves.

It is logical that the harsh bills provoked an equally harsh reaction - and retaliatory protests. The day after the governor of Georgia signed the bill, actress and host Busy Phillips revealed that she had an abortion. “According to statistics, one in four women have an abortion before she turns forty-five.This statistic sometimes surprises people - you may be thinking, "I don't know women who have an abortion." Well, you know me,”Phillips said. - I had an abortion at the age of fifteen, and I talk about it because I am very scared for women and girls all over our country. And I think we all need to talk more about it and share our stories. " She encouraged other women to share their experiences - and launched the #YouKnowMe campaign.

Other celebrities - from Rihanna to Sophie Turner - spoke of Republicans who were in favor of legislative change: for example, in Alabama, twenty-five people voted for the law - exclusively white men. Lady Gaga drew attention to the fact that the punishment for doctors who terminate a pregnancy, in most cases, is harsher than the punishment for rapists. Several film companies, among which, for example, the production of the Duplass brothers, have announced that they refuse to shoot in Georgia. Over the past decade, due to a favorable tax policy, the state has become a popular location for filming - and according to official figures, filming also provides 92,000 jobs, including for local residents. True, the major market players did not join the boycott.

Lady Gaga noticed

that the punishment for doctors who terminate a pregnancy, in most cases harsher than punishment for rapists

Finally, actress Alyssa Milano called for a "boycott of sex." “Until women gain legal control over their own bodies, we simply cannot be at risk of getting pregnant. Join me and do not have sex until we return the right to the inviolability of our bodies. I call for a boycott of sex,”she said.

One way or another, the opponents of the changes do not intend to give up. Liane Wen, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said her organization will do everything it can to prevent this from happening. “We are fighting for our own lives and for the lives of our patients,” she said.

Until none of the anti-abortion laws came into force (there are still several months), the procedure is still legal in all fifty states. Moreover, all of them are likely to try to appeal in court. For example, a similar law was passed in Ohio, but subsequently the governor of the state vetoed it, and the federal judge declared the bill unconstitutional in Kentucky, although the fight for it is likely to continue. Gov. Kay Ivey herself noted that the Alabama law would likely be impossible to enforce due to the historic Roe v. Wade judgment, which effectively legalized abortion in the country in 1973. Perhaps the goal of lawmakers is to take the discussion to a higher level, weaken the government's position on abortion, or even get Roe v. Wade abolished altogether. The flurry of bills restricting the right to abortion can be explained, among other things, by a favorable political environment: last year, US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who actively advocated the right to abortion, retired, and today more conservative politicians prevail there.

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