Access to abortion is legal in all parts of the united states, constitutionally protected by the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, and supported by a majority of Americans; however anti-women’s health policy makers and anti-choice politicians have created it increasingly difficult for women to have access, many have fought for their rights in court battles. Politicians will deny access by using ballot measures, and heavy legislative restrictions on abortion services. Some extremists on the issue will even use different forms of violence against women and abortion providers like, intimidation, harassment. This raises the question is the interference of government needed. In our class theme 2 freedom vs. order, should our government write policies on abortion or should we have the freedom to choose if a facility provides abortions to woman seeking one. Now if the government stayed out of abortion rights and left it up to the people, in the south where many conservative people live might not find one doctor or facility where a woman can get an abortion. It’s already rare for there to be a planned parenthood in the south and we have some government policies. If we let the government completely control it we could have no abortion facilities and many women are forced to give up the rights to their own body. Where do we draw the line in how much we should allow the government to interfere or if they should interfere at all. Our current government has made policies on abortion and make new ones all the time, many of these policies are to make abortion increasingly difficult to receive, but how a policy arises can be made in 5 steps “(1) agenda building, (2) policy formulation, (3) policy adoption, (4) policy implementation, and (5) policy evaluation” (Bardes 407). When an issue is brought to a politician’s attention, by the media or constituents a politician will use these 5 steps to address a policy to fix an issue. In the sense of abortion many anti-choice politicians will pass TRAP laws, the Hyde Amendment, 20 week bans, Admitting Privileges Requirements, Waiting Periods, Biased Counseling, and Parental Involvement. Some policies in favor of abortion the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, the Women’s Health Protection Act (which hasn’t been passed yet but is reintroduced every year), and the supreme court decision in Roe v. Wade that makes abortion legal many politicians try and overturn this decision.
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“Since the Supreme Court passed down its 1973 decisions in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, states have made a lattice work of abortion law, codifying, regulating and limiting whether or not, when and underneath what circumstances a woman could acquire an abortion” (An Overview of Abortion Laws). Norma McCorvey (named Jane Roe in the court) was seeking to terminate her pregnancy, but abortion was illegal in Texas except to save the mother’s life. In Roe v. Wade the supreme court found “The high court’s 7-2 decision established rules based on a pregnancy trimester framework, banning legislative interference in the first trimester of pregnancy (0-12 weeks), allowing states to regulate abortion during the second trimester (weeks 13-28) “in ways that are reasonably related to maternal health,” and allowing a state to “regulate, and even proscribe” abortion during the third trimester (weeks 29-40) “in promoting its interest in the potentiality of human life,” unless an abortion is required to preserve the life or health of the mother. The decision also allowed states to prohibit abortions performed by anyone who is not a state-licensed physician” (Parenthood). This case found anti-abortion laws unconstitutional Roe v. Wade was found in favor of pro-choice, and after pro-life advocates had legislation make restriction on abortion. Congress eventually passed the Hyde Amendment to add restrictions. Today, many are concerned that Jeff Sessions the Attorney General are concerned that he will not adequately enforce the laws that protect doctors who perform abortions and their patients from threats and violence. The Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, “forbids the use of “force, threat of force or physical obstruction” to prevent someone from providing or receiving abortions” (parenthood). The law additionally provides for both criminal and civil penalties for those that break the law. Congress needs to enforce laws like FACE act and others that protect women and abortion providers from harm. Congress has passed TRAP bills single out abortion doctors for unnecessary, politically motivated state regulations, which are to rid of abortion access under the image of legitimate regulation. We have seen the harmful effects of this new attack on women’s access to abortion care, as our suppliers struggle to accommodate these new laws across the country “Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt centered on two TRAP provisions: a mandate that all abortion providers comply with onerous and medically unnecessary building requirements for ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs), and an unfair, also medically unnecessary requirement that doctors who provide abortions obtain hospital admitting privileges at a nearby hospital”(Parenthood). Rebuilding a facility into becoming a ASCs would be tedious, expensive, and unnecessary. Some of these requirements in building a ASC facility “involves mandating the width of hallways, complex HVAC systems, down-to-the-inch dimensions for operating rooms, and specifications for outfitting janitor’s closets” (Parenthood). These requirements seem to have nothing to do with the actual safety of the patients, what clothes a janitor wears really has nothing to do with patient care.
The Hyde Amendment is “Prohibits the expenditure for any abortion of funds authorized or appropriated by federal law or funds in any trust fund to which funds are authorized or appropriated by federal law…Excludes from such prohibitions an abortion if: (1) the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest; or (2) the woman suffers from a physical disorder, injury, or illness, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself, that would place her in danger of death unless an abortion is performed, as certified by a physician.” (Robert). In short means, blocks the use of federal funds to pay for abortion except to save the life of the woman, or if the pregnancy comes from incest or rape. It has banned the federal funding of most abortion care “Since 1976, the Hyde Amendment has blocked federal Medicaid funding for abortion services (since 1994, there have been three extremely narrow exceptions: when continuing the pregnancy will endanger the woman’s life, or when the pregnancy results from rape or incest). This means Medicaid cannot cover abortion even when a woman’s health is at risk, and her doctor recommends she get an abortion.” (Parenthood) Women every day who want to make the best decision for themselves and their families, but are denied that right because of this harmful measure, of only getting an abortion if the pregnancy was a product of rape or incest. Funding restrictions are a huge hurdle for women’s access to abortion care. Lawmakers need to be educated on the consequences of Hyde on low-income women and families, and its impact on women of color. Women of color, young people and immigrants, and low-income women rely on Medicaid as their health care coverage, they don’t cover abortion costs, as a result the woman is either forced to carry their pregnancy to full term or pay for care out of her pocket “Twenty-six states prohibit policies sold under Obamacare from covering abortions, and 11 of those go so far as to prevent all private insurers from offering abortion coverage. Some don’t even allow insurance to pay when a pregnancy endangers a woman’s life” (Abortion Rights Being Chipped Away). Some states have taken it upon themselves to give Women access to abortion coverage “As of 2016, 17 states use their own funds to extend abortion coverage to low-income women enrolled in Medicaid (although some of these states still make it difficult to access)”(Parenthood). This is a good start in fighting the Hyde Amendment and giving women the basic rights over their bodies they deserve, but the majority of the country still follows the Hyde Amendment “South Dakota’s Medicaid program goes even further than Hyde: It does not pay for abortion even when a woman has been raped or is the victim of incest” (Parenthood). Now, in the Amendment Specifically it states these two exceptions of incest or rape which South Dakota is in violation of the Amendment. In contrast to the Hyde Amendment there is the Women’s Health Protection Act which works in favor of women choosing of getting an abortion or not, whatever the reason may be.
At the state level, anti-choice lawmakers have passed an unprecedented attack of anti-abortion laws and regulations that make it harder and harder for women to access care. The Women’s Health Protection Act “is a federal bill that would prohibit states from imposing restrictions on abortion that apply to no similar medical care, interfere with patient’s personal decision making, and block access to safe, legal abortion care.” (Women’s Health Protection Act). The Women’s Health Protection Act would make federal protections against anti-abortion laws. The Act wouldn’t allow state and federal politicians from imposing pro-life provisions, on women wanting an abortion “ This includes: clinic shutdown laws imposing regulations that grossly exceed what is necessary to ensure high standards of patient safety and quality of care; restrictions on women’s ability to safely access medication abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy; state-mandated medical procedures and protocols, such as forcing women to undergo ultrasounds and endure waiting periods for no medical reason as a way to shame women for their personal decisions; bans on abortion prior to viability that violate the constitutional rights confirmed by Roe v. Wade”(Women’s Health Protection Act). This bill has been presented to Congress since 2013 and has been represented every year since, but continues to get shut down. This Act is what is needed to protect women from backlash and to give women the right to choose what to do with their bodies.
State bills that impose broad bans on abortion care are available many different forms and have an effect on variety of safe and normally provided abortion procedures. Abortion bans are supported as unconstitutional in dozens of proceedings. However, they still be a preferred type of legislation that anti-choice legislators plan to pass in their states. The federal abortion ban criminalizes abortions within the second trimester of pregnancy that doctors say are typically the safest and best way to protect women’s health. Many states have tried to enact legislation that offer abortion doctors several obstacles to leap through and build it progressively tough to perform one “42 states require an abortion to be performed by a licensed physician. 19 states require an abortion to be performed in a hospital after a specified point in the pregnancy, and 19 states require the involvement of a second physician after a specified point” (An Overview of Abortion Laws). These necessities are typically tough obstacles for abortion suppliers, leading to several health care facilities in closing down. Admitting Privileges Requirements, Waiting Periods, Biased Counseling, and Parental Involvement are examples of this legislation.
Admitting privileges are a business arrangement between physicians or a medical facility and a hospital that allows approved physicians to treat patients inside the hospital setting. Given the excellent safety record of abortion care, there’s no medical reason to require physicians providing abortion care at a hospital.As it serves no medical purpose, this demand is clearly politically-motivated, and it’s true intent is to create it incapable for physicians to produce abortion care. As it serves no medical purpose, this demand is clearly politically-motivated, and it’s true intent is to create it not possible for physicians to produce abortion care. There are several reasons why a medical practitioner providing abortion care wouldn’t habitually have hospital admitting privileges, none of that have to be compelled to do with the standard of care they supply. the factors for getting admitting privileges vary considerably from hospital to hospital and are influenced by factors like spiritual affiliation, hospital administration, and social pressure. Several hospitals need physicians to admit a minimum range of patients per month or annually so as to get or maintain admitting privileges. thanks to the outstanding safety record of abortion care and therefore the low incidence of complications requiring hospital transfers, abortion suppliers are rarely ready to satisfy such necessities, and are often times denied admitting privileges as a result.
Mandatory delays disproportionately hurt those women with fewer monetary resources or those that live in rural areas wherever there are not any abortion suppliers. analysis has incontestable that obligatory delays are taxing for women and have a negative impact on their emotional well-being and monetary security. Extended necessary delays might force some women to delay their abortion care later in their pregnancies, exposing them to excess inflated health risks and added expenses. All women deserve factual medical information whenever she is facing a choice regarding her pregnancy. A woman and her doctor are within the best position to make treatment selections together based on individual patient circumstances, without interference from politicians.
Anti-abortion politicians are pushing an unconstitutional, nationwide 20-week abortion ban. Preventing doctors and alternative health professionals from informing patients regarding all their health care options. Laws that prohibition abortion after twenty weeks of pregnancy would take a deeply personal decision out of the hands of a woman and her doctor. A biased counselor will impose their views on abortion to the woman. If the counselor is not in favor of pro-choice, they may make the woman feel guilty on her decision, scare her into making her go through with the pregnancy, and misinform her. There’s even a waiting period on counseling appointments “ Most require waits of 24 hours between counseling and an abortion. Some are as long as three days, and women must show up in person both times”(Abortion Rights Being Chipped Away). Today federal judge Judge Carlton W. Reeves in Mississippi has decided to enforce a 15 week ban in his state, prohibiting an abortion to be performed after 15 weeks. Other bans are also being proposed “The Ohio House of Representatives this week passed one of the most restrictive abortion bills in the country — one that would penalize doctors for performing an abortion when a fetal heartbeat can be detected and pose a potential challenge to Roe v. Wade” (Caron). A heartbeat can be detected as early 6 weeks if this were to pass it would make it nearly impossible for a woman to get an abortion.
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Parental involvement laws don’t accomplish their expressed purpose of accelerating safety of younger patients. Parental consent and notification necessities don’t encourage healthy family communication, however often compromise young people’s health and safety. The Guttmacher Institute has found that the clearest impact of such laws is a rise in teens traveling outside their home state to get their abortion care in states that don’t have such laws or have less restrictive ones. Non-surgical abortion provides a woman the choice of an private and what could feel like a less invasive method of ending a pregnancy, in a place during which she feels most comfortable. Anti-women’s health activists have devoted specific attention to making barriers and restrictions prohibit access to non-surgical abortion. In states where these restrictions are passed, some women are forced to have a surgical procedure when they would have chosen non-surgical abortion instead.
Today President Donald Trump is looking to stop government funding family planning facilities from providing or referring patients for abortions, “Title X, the 1970 law that created the federal family planning program. The statute already bans direct funding of abortion, but many organizations that provide abortions, including Planned Parenthood, use Title X money to subsidize other women’s health services, such as dispensing birth control and providing cancer screenings”(Davis). Many places are going to have to stop giving abortion services, or lose government funding. Trump supporters are making this a top priority to enforce title X or make it more difficult to get an abortion. Many Americans are inclined to a middle ground rather than making abortion completely legal or ban it, that should be reflected in state laws. After forty five years of bitter feuding, reassuring that abortions are safe and progressively rare should be the goal, whereas recognizing that constitutional rights shouldn’t be created impossible to exercise. Trump has decided to address the pro-life march ‘”Under my administration, we will always defend the very first right in the Declaration of Independence, and that is the right to life”’(Korte). Trump addresses the right to life but the woman who is having the child also has a right to life, and his policies can choose that a unborn fetus is more important than the woman, President Trump is looking to take away the rights of women choosing what to with their bodies.
There is also a debate if men should have a decision in a women getting an abortion. As of today, men have no decision in if a woman is having an abortion, and as it is the women who has to go through the pregnancy it should be her choice, regardless if the biological father wanted to keep the child. A women should not give away the rights of her body for someone else. This can be said about the government interfering on abortion rights and if men should have a right to force a woman to go through with the pregnancy. In the United States your medical records are confidential, as a result a woman has no obligation to tell her male sexual partner that she’s pregnant or that she is going to have an abortion.
A way to decrease unplanned pregnancies is enforce safe sex practices in schools, and communities. With educating the public, more people can engage in safer sex practices. Making contraceptives more available to the public can decrease unplanned pregnancies and decrease abortions. This also raises a political debate on whether or not sex should be talked about, but if people are educated and have access to condoms, birth control and other contraceptives will decrease unplanned pregnancies and as a result decrease the number of abortions performed.
Many women have been bullied from getting an abortion. Anti-choice protesters standing outside abortion facilities, blocking women from getting an abortion “September 2012 outside the Choices Women’s Medical Center in Queens, New York” (Guha). A woman tried to enter the facility but protesters blocked her way until she left. This is a big deal because that might’ve not been the day she was getting the abortion but it might have been one of her counseling appointments, or the next time she could come back could be past the 20 week ban and ended up going through with a pregnancy that is unwanted. This woman could end up paying thousands of dollars in hospital bills, in a state where abortion is easier obtained than in other states. There has been cases of women from southern states that have traveled hundreds of miles to cities where an abortion is easier to obtain since it’s so hard in southern states. For example, if a woman from Utah wanted to get an abortion, but with the new policy if a heartbeat is there then a woman can’t get one in there, but possibly can in New York.
- “Abortion Rights Being Chipped Away.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 23 Jan. 2018, www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/01/22 abortion-rights-roe-v-wade-states/1051901001/.
- “An Overview of Abortion Laws.” Guttmacher Institute, 12 Nov. 2018, www.guttmacher.org/state-policy/explore/overview-abortion-laws.
- Bardes, Barbara A., et al. American Government and Politics Today. 8th ed., Cengage Learning, 2018.
- Caron, Christina. “Ohio House Passes Bill to Criminalize Abortions of Fetuses With a Heartbeat.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 17 Nov. 2018, www.nytimes.com/2018/11/16/health/ohio-abortion-ban-heartbeat-bill.html.
- Davis, Julie Hirschfeld. “How New Abortion Restrictions Would Affect Women’s Health Care.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 19 May 2018, www.nytimes.com/2018/05/18/us/politics/trump-abortion.html.
- Guha, Auditi. “Anti-Choice Protesters Bullied, ‘Buttonholed’ Abortion Patients at New York Clinic.” Rewire.News, Rewire.News, 19 Feb. 2018, rewire.news/article/2018/02/19 /anti-choice-protesters-bullied-buttonholed-abortion-patients-new-york-clinic/.
- Korte, Gregory. “Trump Pushes for Congress to Restrict Abortions as He Addresses ‘March for Life’ Event.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 19 Jan. 2018, www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/01/19/trump-pushes-congress-restrict-abortions-he-addresses-march-life-event/1047850001/.
- Parenthood, Planned. “Hyde Amendment.” Planned Parenthood Action Fund, National – PPACTION, www.plannedparenthoodaction.org/issues/abortion/hyde-amendment.
- Robert. “S.142 – 113th Congress (2013-2014): Hyde Amendment Codification Act.” Congress.gov, 24 Jan. 2013, www.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/senate-bill/142.
- “Women’s Health Protection Act.” Act for Women, www.actforwomen.org/the- womens-health-protection-act/.
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