“Alabama sucks so hard they literally have to force people to be born there.”
This is a joke I saw on social media today. It’s not very funny, but it does its job – which is to get people really thinking and talking about the changes to abortion laws being peddled in Alabama right now.
Earlier this week, Governor Kay Ivey signed a bill into law that would ban nearly all abortion care in Alabama.
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The new law doesn’t come into effect for another six months and “faces inevitable court challenges”, says Dr Yashica Robinson. She adds that despite the legal change: “Just as I have for the last 15 years of my medical career, I will continue to deliver babies, give prenatal care – and provide abortions.”
This is despite the fact that the new law states that doctors who perform abortions “could face up to 99 years or life in prison”.
Pro-life advocates are praising these changes, of course.
But they live in a world devoid of reality – the reality being, not every child is a blessing.
Which means this law isn’t going to stop abortions. It’s just going to stop access to safe abortions.
Abortion is not some sort of “easy out” for a careless woman. It’s a tough, heart-wrenching choice for any woman to make – as it’s a decision that indicates that no life at all would be better than the life the baby (and its parents) would have, should the pregnancy continue. Noone makes a decision like this lightly.
Yet in Alabama, a panel of 25 all-white males have voted that a woman must carry a baby to term once she becomes pregnant – even in cases of incest, child abuse and rape.
I’m fairly certain that if men were the ones who became pregnant, and they were at risk of carrying, growing and delivering an unwanted pregnancy, this law wouldn’t exist. In fact, there would probably be an abortion clinic on every corner.
It is such a step backwards, and made me so grateful not to live in America… then I double-checked our own laws.
While women can and do have abortions in Queensland, they (and the doctors who perform them) are at risk of criminal charges. This is because in Queensland, abortion is a criminal offence, except in very special circumstances.
I guess I shouldn’t be so grateful after all.