The Governor of Alabama has signed the most restrictive abortion bill in the US into law, after the state’s Senate passed it by a clear majority. This controversial abortion bill could punish doctors who perform abortions with life in prison. The bill makes abortion a crime at any stage of pregnancy. However, it allows exceptions “to avoid a serious health risk to the unborn child’s mother,” for ectopic pregnancy and if the “unborn child has a lethal anomaly.” It is to be noted that the Democrats re-introduced an amendment to exempt rape and incest victims, but their motion failed on an 11-21 vote. This means that victims of rape will have to bear pregnancies that resulted from their assault. Along with them, teens or women who have been groomed or forced into incest will also have to rear children they didn’t ask for or want.
- Alabama has now passed the strictest abortion laws in the US.
- The new abortion law doesn’t even exempt pregnancies resulting from rape and incest.
- In a state whose senate is ruled by a white male majority, this hardly comes as a surprise.
- But while you can force anti abortion laws on people, can you force them to be good parents?
Democrats re-introduced an amendment to exempt rape and incest victims, but their motion failed on an 11-21 vote. This means that victims of rape will have to bear pregnancies that resulted from their assault.
How did it come to this? How did Alabama end up passing such a stringent bill, which takes away women’s agency to have a say in their pregnancy? Does the state understand full implications of such a law? This abortion ban will make it difficult for women in abusive relationships to walk away, if they get pregnant. Teenage girls may have to sideline their career prospects and take up motherhood, because of an unwanted or forced pregnancy. At the end of the day it is women of Alabama who’ll end up paying the price, as nothing is being done to make men accountable. It takes two to make a baby and while you can force a woman to carry a child, what happens after that? Can you force her partner to help her out with child support and care?
As The Guardian has pointed out, of the 27 Republicans, all white men, that dominate the 35-seat Alabama senate, 25 voted to pass the bill on Tuesday. However, the governor who signed the bill into a law is a woman, a white republican leader to be specific. These details matter because these are the leaders elected by the people of Alabama to represent them. So whatever they are doing basically represents the mindset of the people of Alabama. Lack of proper representation of women and people of colour has deprived them of a say in this matter. Could the decision have been drastically different, had the Alabama senate not been dominated by conservative white men? We can only guess.
How many of these unwanted children will end up in foster care or dumpsters? Who will take care of them? Also, by closing all exists, hasn’t the state made girls and women susceptible to self harm?
While the Alabama senate has now forced women into bearing a pregnancy against their wishes, can it force them to be mothers too? How many of these unwanted children will end up in foster care or dumpsters? Who will take care of them? Also, by closing all exists, hasn’t the state made girls and women susceptible to self harm? It seems that Alabama doesn’t yet realise how it is preparing the state to be full of embittered and resentful parents, parents who’ll find it hard to love their kids, because they didn’t want to have them in first place. Or children who’ll be brought up amidst depravity or will be left in care of the state because their parents can’t afford to bring them up.
One wonders what kind of adults such kids will grow up to be. No amount of laws and bills could force a person to love someone against their wishes. And this holds true for parents as well. So before advocating pro-life beliefs, people need to create a welcoming environment for them. Extend child support to single mothers and poor parents. Crack down hard on sexual assault and raise the boys’ right, to understand consent and how parenting isn’t just a woman’s responsibility. Advocating a child’s right to live without having a solution for all the problems which make women elect abortion just shows how it is more about your concern for your own morality than everyone’s well-being.
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.