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Recent introduction of the “Heartbeat Bill” makes debate rise around abortion

Students share their opinions and experiences that they have with abortion

Tess Petrillo, Staff Reporter
Originally published May 17, 2019

Emma Inge

Emma Inge

Over the past few years the polarization of conservative and liberal views have intensified over a variety of topics, such as abortion. Recently, the conservative states of Alabama and Georgia have joined Ohio, Mississippi, Kentucky, Iowa, and North Dakota in enacting an anti-abortion bill called the “Heartbeat Bill.”

Heartbeat bills involve the banning of abortion once a heartbeat can be detected, which is primarily during the embryonic stage of about six weeks. It usually takes about four to seven weeks for women to actually discover that they are pregnant, which makes getting an abortion very difficult if the the cut off is only at six weeks.

In Georgia, these restrictions do not apply to women who are pregnant due to rape or incest, or if they are undergoing health problems. The Alabama Senate proposed a similar bill without these exceptions.

The bill does not specifically state that a woman will be criminalized for having a miscarriage, but will be investigated for the cause of her miscarriage. If it is discovered that the woman did receive an abortion, the doctor who performed the procedure on her is punishable of up to 99 years in prison.

The goal of more conservative states such as Georgia and Alabama is to overturn Roe v. Wade, a decision made by the Supreme Court to legalize abortion, and to ban abortion entirely.

While this might achieve the goal of the conservative side of the government for saving potential lives, it also puts women who can’t or do not want to go through with the pregnancy in a dangerous and difficult position. So the debate arises: is abortion more beneficial or harmful?

Sophomore Maddy Bowles is passionate about her pro-choice beliefs, specifically because she is invested in making sure that women receive all the options and opportunities that they need. “There’s a lot of factors that go into making such an important decision, I think that ultimately it’s the woman who has to make the decision,” Bowles said. “She is the one who is putting her body on the line, she is the one who is going to have to endure in nine months of making a person. It should be her responsibility.”

Bowles also mentions that she was raised as and is a Christian, and felt fortunate to be a part of a more modern church where she can be confidently pro-choice. “We personally believe that pro-choice is the woman’s opportunity to protect her body and keep herself safe,” she said. “I think that religion can sometimes affect a person’s decision, but I don’t think that it should ultimately be a defense mechanism against abortion.”

While a person’s faith could be a factor in their decision of being pro-life, their views are often swayed by their experiences with abortion as well.

An anonymous student explains how the lives of their close friends have been affected by abortion. “One of my coworkers is a failed abortion attempt–it’s really important that his parents didn’t abort him and didn’t end up going through with it,” they explained. “He turned out really well. It’s just hard to know what the baby will be.”

The student has another close friend whose had a difficult experience with abortion. “One of my really, really close friend’s mom had an abortion before she had her–she found out about this recently and when she did she was just completely heartbroken,” they said. “This was one of the big things that changed my mind, because before I was pro-choice. But after seeing her so broken down about not being able to have a sister, it just seemed so wrong.”

While they are still pro-life, they recognize that there is a wide variety of reasons for a getting an abortion, making the issue very complicated. However, for some the issue is not complicated.

Another anonymous student expressed how her main reasoning for being pro-choice is because she wants to have control over her own body. “As women, we own our bodies. No one can tell us, ‘You have to have this baby,’ ‘You have to give it up for adoption’ or ‘You have to abort it,’” she said. “It is your own body, therefore it is your own choice of what you do with it.”

Just like these high school students, each individual is going to have their own personal view on abortion because of the experiences in their life that have shaped their perception.

If the option of abortion is not available legally, women will still find ways to seek out abortion illegally. These methods could be unsafe and dangerous to women, and if unsuccessful, the baby she is carrying. Whether they will utilize or not, having the option of abortion could provide safety for all women.

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Recent introduction of the “Heartbeat Bill” makes debate rise around abortion