Six-week abortion bans are unconstitutional attempts by opponents of safe and legal abortion to impose restrictions on access to abortion. Once again, politicians are inserting themselves in the most private and personal medical decision best left between a woman in consultation with her doctor, her family, and her faith.
These laws are rooted in opposition to safe and legal abortion and would criminalize providers
House Bill 235 / Senate Bill 792 attempts to ban abortion as early as six weeks. At six weeks, most women don’t even know they’re pregnant. This bill could take away a woman’s right to make her own medical decisions before she would know she had a decision to make.
This legislation also endangers women’s health and lives by interfering with a doctor’s ability treat a pregnant patient with a medical condition. The legislation could also create a legal quagmire for any doctor who needed to provide medical care to a pregnant woman if that care might endanger an ongoing pregnancy.
Legislation ignores real world situations
A ban on abortion at 6 weeks would prevent most women from accessing abortion at all. At six weeks, most women don’t even know they’re pregnant. Many women seeking abortion face logistical obstacles like finding a provider, securing childcare and transportation, and saving funds to cover all of the costs – all of which can create delays. With a ban so early in pregnancy, some women may find that once they discover they’re pregnant, it’s already too late for them to get an abortion.
This bill also fails to contain exceptions for victims of rape and incest who-for one of many reasons—may not have made an official report, and no exceptions for when the woman learns that there are serious fetal anomalies. In these situations, it is crucial for women to have the opportunity to think through their opinions based on their unique situation in consultation with people they trust, including their physicians, loved ones, counselors, religious leaders and others.
These restrictions will disproportionately affect communities of color, immigrants, and the LGBTQ community who have been historically discriminated against, and as a result have worse access to reproductive health care — and worse health outcomes. This is a result of systemic barriers that can make it difficult, or nearly impossible, to access health care, including poverty, lack of transportation, lack of paid sick leave, lack of childcare, lack of insurance, the risk of detention and deportation, and a historical distrust of the medical community.
6-Week Bans are Part of an Agenda to Ban All Abortion
This legislation is intended to ban almost all abortion in our state. It is important that abortion remain a safe and legal medical procedure for a woman to consider if or when she needs it. The truth is that abortion is a critical component not only of women’s health care, but of their ability to lead free and fulfilling lives with dignity and autonomy. A ban like HB 235 would only force it underground and deny women the care they need.