Idaho adopted an abortion bill that closely resembled Texas’ abortion ban on March 23. Idaho’s new abortion law bans most abortions after about six weeks and allows anyone to sue an individual that may have had a hand in the procedure. It is similar to Texas’ bill in nearly every sense, but unlike Texas’ abortion bill, Idaho legislators deemed it reasonable for abortions to be carried out in cases of rape or incest.
This bill is especially dangerous considering the short time frame to get an abortion. Some women may not even be aware they are pregnant by six weeks due to irregular menstrual cycles. Although many Republican states are pushing for abortion bans, Idaho became the first state to follow Texas’ lead, and it comes just in time for the highly anticipated Supreme Court overturning of Roe v. Wade, a monumental abortion rights ruling that gave women the choice whether or not to have an abortion.
Ever since Donald Trump swung the ideological makeup of the Supreme Court to a 6–3 conservative majority, Republicans have been on a mission to overturn Roe v. Wade— a change that would remove monumental protections for a woman’s right to get an abortion. The decision has been placed on the states: State government is able to decide its legislation on abortion, and more and more states have taken up measures to restrict abortions.
In Texas, abortion rates dropped 60% since the state adopted its abortion ban. This does not indicate a drop in overall abortions; instead of receiving care in their home state, women have traveled across state lines or even resorted to incredibly unsafe ways to terminate their pregnancy. Banning abortions does not mean they cease to happen; it means that people have to resort to unhealthy and potentially deadly means. Here lies the fault in Republicans’ anti-abortion perspective: it preaches ‘saving a life’ yet holds no concern for the mother or even the child once born. Incredibly ironic.
So what does this mean for the future? As a woman, I find it incredibly frightening that our rights are being rescinded and our bodily autonomies are now at the mercy of individuals who, apparently, never left the 1960s. In 2022, women may no longer have the right to make their own decisions based on what is best for them or their children. Many women do not have the privilege of a stable household and income to provide the proper care for a baby; this is more detrimental and cruel to the child than abortions would ever be. There are often health complications which could either put the baby’s life in danger or result in a traumatic and dangerous pregnancy. Whatever the reason for abortion may be, women know their bodies and what is best for their own future.
Policymakers need to stop forcing women to birth children and start focusing on increasing measures that actually decrease the number of unwanted pregnancies, starting with providing medically accurate sex education and access to healthcare.