The Right to Choose


photo by: Flickr

Megan Wilson, Reporter

6 weeks. The law passed in Georgia banning abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which is typically around week 6 of a woman’s pregnancy, is set to become one of the most restrictive laws in US history. Most women do not even know they are pregnant by this time. Currently, the Roe v. Wade legislation is protected by the US Constitution. However, lawmakers are hoping to chip away at this, and having newly appointed Supreme Court justices like Judge Kavanaugh is fueling the political fire for states such as Georgia to pass this restrictive legislation. Georgia isn’t the only state that has been passing laws banning abortion. Eight other states, including Kentucky, Ohio, and Mississippi, have introduced similar legislation with these restrictions, and many more have pending debates on this topic.

The case of Roe v. Wade was the first major case of women’s abortion rights. It was a historic decision and gave women newfound reproductive rights. Before Roe v. Wade, women had to sneak around and go to illegal places and get dangerous procedures done to their bodies that could harm their health in the future.  It also established that it was right of a woman and her doctor to make this important medical decision. Not only did the court case make it safe for woman to get abortion, it made it illegal for states to limit the right to an abortion during the first trimester of pregnancy; Roe v. Wade established that states do not have the jurisdiction over bodily functions of a U.S. citizen and that a fetus does not have a legal status.

The governor of Georgia has defended his thoughts on this matter, indicating he wants, “to ensure that all Georgians have the opportunity to live, grow, learn and prosper in our great state.” Are you really letting the people live, grow, and learn if you rob them from one of their constitutional rights?  Women and pro-choice advocates fought hard for these rights that are now being threatened again. As of today, every woman has the choice of what will and won’t happen with her body. Victims of rape or incest are able to choose what they want to do with their pregnancy. Six weeks is not a very long time for someone to make a life changing decision, as typically, women will not even be aware of their pregnancy until close to this time frame.  The goal for the pro-life advocates is to overturn or undermine to monumental Roe v. Wade ruling that protects a woman’s right to an abortion and ban abortion at all stages for any reason.

The burning question at the root of this debate is at what point does a fetus have a legal status?  As there is still time before the bills will be officially passed, and the law is reported not be put into effect until 2020, opponents are working to challenge the law and block it from going into effect. This hardcore stance on abortion has caught the attention of Hollywood celebrities who are making their voices heard and are urging Georgia’s governor to veto the bill, as well as threatening to stop using Georgia as a filming location as leverage. As citizens of this country and soon to be eligible voters, we need to think about important questions such as at what point does life begin- at conception, at birth, or somewhere in between?