It is no secret that Republicans have long sought to restrict or outright ban abortions in the United States, but recent legislative efforts have taken this agenda to a whole new level. After the Supreme Court agreed to review Mississippi’s abortion ban after 15 weeks of gestation, conservative lawmakers in many states have proposed bills that would bring about death penalty charges for women and physicians who perform abortions.
The most extreme of these proposals come from Texas, where Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R-Arlington) has been pushing legislation supported by major corporations such as Altria Group PAC, United Services Automobile Association, Charter Communications/Spectrum, AT&T, and Phillips 66. This bill would criminalize both the act of getting an abortion and the act of performing one, thus making it punishable by death if passed. Similar bills have also been introduced recently in Wisconsin, Alabama, and North Dakota among other places.
These bills are not only dangerous but also unconstitutional. The US Supreme Court recognized a woman’s right to choose in the 1973 landmark decision Roe v Wade, meaning that any laws banning or restricting abortion are deemed unconstitutional by the courts. Furthermore, they are an outrageous attack on women’s health and rights; criminalizing those who seek out a medical procedure that is their right to choose without consequence.
It is imperative that we defend women’s right to access safe and legal abortion services without judgment or prosecution – something Republicans seem to be ignoring at their own peril. We cannot let them push through laws that threaten the lives and bodily autonomy of millions of women across America; as such we must make sure they do not succeed in their attempts at codifying discrimination against pregnant people into law.
Not only do these proposed laws disregard fundamental human rights, but they could set dangerous precedents for even more extreme legislation down the line. It’s clear that we must stand united in defense of reproductive justice for all – regardless of gender or political party – if we are too prevent similar bills from becoming law elsewhere. Ultimately our fight for bodily autonomy will be determined by how much pressure we can put on our representatives to stop this attack on women’s rights once and for all!