anti-abortion lawmakers, and now supreme court justices, have blood on their hands


photo by gayatri malhotra on unsplash.

There’s not enough room in a Planned Parenthood clinic for the doctor, the person seeking an abortion and the gall of some conservative lawmakers sticking their noses in every uterus in their states. 


In the never-ending debate surrounding abortion rights, a leaked draft revealed the Supreme Court plans to overturn Roe v. Wade. More than 20 states are set to ban abortions if Roe is officially overturned, and 13 states have trigger laws ready to go, meaning those states will immediately restrict or ban abortions.


Missouri Republican lawmakers passed a bill on March 22 that simultaneously criminalizes residents seeking abortions outside state lines and bans people from buying abortion pills online. 


Modeled after the restrictive Texas abortion bill that essentially lets citizens cosplay as abortion bounty hunters, the Missouri bill relies on citizens to enforce it by filing lawsuits against anyone who dares to help someone seeking an abortion. 


The original version of the bill sponsored by Republican State Rep. Brian Seitz had a clause that would outlaw abortions for ectopic pregnancies, which are not only life-threatening to the mother but are also not viable pregnancies in the first place. After backlash across social media from abortion activists and criticism from the Missouri State Medical Association, the ectopic pregnancy clause was removed from the bill before it passed.  


The initial inclusion of this clause demonstrates how ill-informed the conservative lawmakers are and the dangers of their anti-abortion laws. In the United States, one in every 50 pregnancies is an ectopic pregnancy, March of Dimes reports, and they all end in loss of pregnancy. The clause would have blamed the woman for having an ectopic pregnancy and would have forced her to potentially risk jail time for seeking life-saving treatment, or death. 


This is what happens when medical procedures are politicized and predominantly male politicians with no medical background seek to dictate everything a woman can and cannot do with her own body. Let’s hand them a diagram of the female reproductive system and ask them to label it. Or perhaps we should simply ask them to explain what they think an ectopic pregnancy is.


Missouri is not the only state following suit after Texas’ gut punch of an anti-abortion law. Tennessee Republican lawmakers introduced a bill in mid-March that would completely ban abortion with no exceptions for rape or incest. In fact, the bill would also let a rapist’s family, friends or even their neighbors sue anyone who may have helped their victim get an abortion.  


Oklahoma passed a bill in April banning abortions at any stage of the pregnancy and Idaho banned most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, although the Idaho Supreme Court temporarily blocked the law from taking effect. Both states also followed Texas’ lead by allowing citizens to sue anyone aiding someone’s abortion.  


This sends a somber message to all women in America: Women are wombs, nothing more. We’re seen as living incubators for the next generation of voters. Bodily autonomy is a right only afforded to men, and a fetus has more rights than we do over our bodies. 


Abortion rights have always been a debate in this country, but it’s becoming more venomous as we approach the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. The Supreme Court failed to block Texas’ cruel law from going into effect last year, which at the time appeared to be a warm-up before rolling back the decision or gutting Roe altogether. 


Now, we know the Supreme Court is prepared to cast nearly 50 years of precedent aside, allowing states to make their own abortion laws and eliminating basic bodily autonomy. 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Feminist (@feminist)

This cannot be the end of Roe v. Wade. Abortions save lives, specifically the lives of those affected by poverty, who should not have to continue unwanted pregnancies merely because they lack the resources of upper class, predominately white women. The wives, daughters and mistresses of conservative lawmakers will always have access to abortions. They can bend the rules, afford to travel out of the state or find a doctor willing to quietly perform the operation for a premium rate.  


Abortions will continue regardless of whether Roe v. Wade is overturned. It’s safe abortions that will become inaccessible. Dr. David Eisenberg, a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist in Missouri, estimates that the maternal mortality rate in Texas could rise to 15% overall and 33% for Black women as a result of the abortion ban. 


The preventable deaths of desperate women without access to safe abortions will be on the hands of all who voted for anti-abortion laws and the conservative justices of the Supreme Court. Women can choose what is best for our own bodies — no conservative lawmakers required.


Support Student Media

Hi, I’m Grace Avery, the Editor In Chief of A Magazine. My staff and I are committed to bringing you the most important and entertaining news from the realms of fashion, beauty and culture. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate to A Magazine.