Abortion Rights Are Shrinking In America And Latinas Are Not Keeping Quiet
The last week has been earth-shattering for women, non-binary, and trans-masculine people across the United States, with eight states at the time of publication having passed near-total bans on abortion. It has been 42 years since the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade gave child-bearing people across America the right to safe access to legal abortion. Every single one of these bills challenges Roe v. Wade for a reason.
Since the appointment of Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh, the Court has been tipped toward a conservative majority for the first time in decades. While the bans don’t go into effect for another six months, we expect to find out whether the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade or maintain its precedence during that time.
For now, Latinas are pissed.
There are a variety of different laws that we’ve seen come out of these red states, ranging from a zero exception policy that would force victims of rape to carry to term, to requiring a notarized consent form for abortion from the fetus’ father. Latinas have taken to Twitter to break it down.
These bans are going into affect in states with the most rapidly growing Latinx populations.
Deputy Director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) told POPSUGAR, “It is worrisome and in particular because Alabama and Georgia are among the states with the most rapidly growing Latinx populations, so we know our communities will be directly impacted by these laws.”
Nearly one in every four women has an abortion by age 45, according to the American Journal of Health in 2017.
This isn’t a post about why women have abortions. Its nobodies business why someone chooses the procedure. Latinxs are no exception to the majority opinion that the state shouldn’t be passing laws to restrict the rights of child-bearing people.
According to NLIRH, 67% of Latinx voters do not want to see Roe v. Wade overturned.
Meanwhile, 82% believe that the government shouldn’t interfere with a women’s decision about abortion. “We also know that when it comes to contraception, data shows that many religious Latinx support it even if their church leaders take a different position,” associate director of Latino media and communications at Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Johanny Adames, told POPSUGAR. “The majority of Latinas, including Catholic Latinas, not only support the use of contraception and affordable access to it, they also use it themselves.”
For Latinx immigrants, the barriers are even higher.
Many Latinx understand that these bans only serve to hurt our community. What we know to be true about these restrictions is that they disproportionately affect low-income people of color who are forced to travel long distances and pay high costs to obtain abortion care. People with means will always seek abortion care somewhere else. And undocumented Latinx immigrants, many of whom cannot travel for fear of detention and deportation, have even fewer options.Maria Elena Perez, Deputy Director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH), POPSUGAR
So Latinas are fighting back.
This Tuesday, protestors nation wide are taking to the streets to fight against the bans. Some are pointing out the holes in the pro-life argument…
Like, if a fetus is a person, shouldn’t the father begin paying child support once the heartbeat is heard?
And why are women being forced to raise a child when a man can just walk away? Probably because men are creating these laws in the first place.
In a climate inundated with lies, reporting has failed to stay vigilant in keeping both sides honest.
Refinery29 correspondent Andrea González-Ramírez has reported on Trump’s false claims–like at a Michigan rally in March when he falsely claimed, “In recent months the Democratic party has also been aggressively pushing extreme late-term abortion, allowing children to be ripped from their mother’s womb right up until the moment of birth.” She believes this extreme rhetoric is part of his campaign strategy to win the White House again in 2020.
Ultimately, this isn’t about fetuses. It’s about controlling women.
There’s no question that this issue is highly controversial. Latinos are pointing out the flaws in the argument for state-mandated restrictions around reproductive rights.
Because abortions aren’t going to stop once they are banned.
They are going to become more dangerous to receive, and poorer communities of color are going to pay the price. The majority of people who have abortions are people of color.
In 1976, the Hyde Amendment was passed, which prevents public health insurance coverage of abortion.
The first woman to die from an unsafe illegal abortion after Hyde was Latina. Her name was Rosie Jimenez, and like many Latinas and POC, she couldn’t afford private insurance or pay out of pocket for a legal procedure.
The same states with restrictive abortion laws also limit consent.
North Carolina has not passed a restrictive abortion law yet, but the House is holding a vote this week to override Gov. Cooper’s veto of Senate Bill 359, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. If that happens, it would encroach on a doctor’s scope to provide care to their patient and would affirm POTUS’ unbacked belief that fetuses are surviving abortions and doctors are murdering them in hospitals.
Alabama has passed the most restrictive abortion law, called the “heartbeat” bill, and Ohio has followed suit.
That means that abortion becomes illegal once a fetal heartbeat is detected, typically around six to seven weeks into the pregnancy. That’s just two weeks after a woman might have missed her period. That means if an Alabaman woman missed her period and notices, she has just two weeks to decide whether to abort the fetus, take time off work, gather the funds, schedule the appointment and pray they don’t hear a beat.
Doctors in Alabama could go to prison for life for performing abortions after the fetal heartbeat has been detected.
The minimum sentence would be ten years. Typically, when something is criminalized in the U.S., the participants are punished–with probation, prison sentences, or other court orders.
While many pro-life advocates don’t want to see women go to prison for abortions, Indiana doctors are already at risk for losing their licenses.
In Indiana, doctors are required to fill out an extensive form once a pregnancy is terminated. They must list the number of previous abortion procedures performed as well as the father’s name. In 2014, Attorney General Greg Zoeller filed a complaint against Dr. Klopfer for failing to name the father and last recorded period.
Plus, some states in the U.S. are already criminalizing women for having abortions.
Indiana woman, Purvi Patel, took an abortion pill, rather than having a procedure. In Indiana, while self-managing your abortion with a pill is perfectly safe to do so without a provider present, it is not legally safe. Patel was prosecuted and jailed after she went to the hospital thinking she needed medical attention after taking the pill.
Meanwhile, #Latinos4GunReform are shook to see how quickly the U.S. could ban abortion before guns.
How is this pro-life? And why are gun advocates so hell-bent on proving that bans don’t work, and then turn around and ban abortions? While a ban on guns would actually limit companies from producing certain weapons, abortion bans don’t limit sex. They limit abortions.
In the meantime, here’s a friendly reminder:
It’s a scary world, and these jokes just aren’t going to land when half the population’s body is frozen in fear. 🙃
You can do something about it.
If you live in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio or Utah, call your representatives. Express your outrage. Leave a voicemail. Tomorrow, leave another one.
If we do nothing, we become Gilead.
One anti-abortion organization already tweeted out, “There are 2,000,000+ infertile couples hoping to adopt newborns, but a severe lack of children because they are being killed before birth. We must reject the violence of abortion & embrace the life-affirming gift of adoption.”
Close to 300 people liked the idea of forcing fertile women to give birth for infertile couples. It’s painstakingly hard, in the midst of so many issues under attack, but we must stay vigilant.