Fed up women of America speak out as states look to criminalize abortion

Image:  Astrid Riecken/Getty Images

By Nicole Gallucci

It’s 2019, and rather than making every effort to fight for the equality, freedom, and basic human rights of Americans, several states are currently attempting to criminalize abortion. 

Though anti-abortion bills have been introduced throughout the country for years, in states like Arkansas, Kentucky, Georgia, Mississippi, North Dakota, Ohio, and more, on Tuesday night Alabama lawmakers voted in favor of the nation’s most restrictive abortion ban, one that would essentially prohibit all abortion procedures, only making an exception if a mother’s life is in danger or if the “unborn child has a lethal anomaly.”

If the bill is signed and passed by Republican governor Kay Ivey, it will mean that any doctor who performs an abortion in-state can be sentenced to up to 99 years in prison.

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The outrageous bill comes a month after Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed a “fetal heartbeat” law, which bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected. However, a heartbeat can be heard in the womb as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, before many women even realize they’re pregnant. Earlier this month, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp also signed a similarly infuriating heartbeat bill to restrict abortion.

As stricter abortion laws are being enforced across the country, and news of Alabama’s possible law continues to spread, women are passionately speaking out against it online. Some are calling out the fact that bills like this could lead to the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, the historic ruling that assured all women access to safe, legal abortions. Others have brought up the fact that Alabama’s bill does not make an exception for pregnancies by rape or incest, which means that a woman raped at any age, even a 12-year-old girl, would be forced to carry to term regardless of the circumstances. And some are arguing that the Alabama law is a direct attack on “poor and marginalized women.” 

Among the many women both disgusted by the strict anti-abortion efforts and tired of having their bodies policed by men are politicians and activists like Elizabeth Warren, Hillary Clinton, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Jameela Jamil, Busy Phillips, and more.

This ban is dangerous and exceptionally cruel—and the bill’s authors want to use it to overturn Roe v. Wade. I’ve lived in that America and let me tell you: We are not going back—not now, not ever. We will fight this. And we will win. https://t.co/WNlr7Ys73q

— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) May 15, 2019

This law would force children – 12 year olds – to carry a pregnancy by their rapist.

This law would force people w/ mental disabilities to carry pregnancy by rape to term.

This law forces people to be pregnant against their own consent. It’s horrifying.

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 15, 2019

just to say: wealthy women will still be able to afford access to a safe abortion, in secret, regardless of a ban. This happens all the time, around the world.

Yes the law in Alabama is an attack on women – but more specifically, it’s an attack on poor and marginalised women.

— Rossalyn Warren (@RossalynWarren) May 15, 2019

Y’all need to stop saying Alabama or Georgia lawmakers are hicks or hillbillies etc. What they are is systematically dismantling women’s rights one state at a time to eventually overturn Roe v Wade and before long it will be your state legislators.

— roxane gay (@rgay) May 15, 2019

Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio & now Alabama – these anti-abortion bills aren’t a coincidence, it’s a concerted effort by the GOP to overturn Roe v. Wade.

I’m sick and tired of this outright assault on women’s bodily autonomy – we will fight this with everything we’ve got.

— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) May 15, 2019

Alabama just passed a near-total ban on abortion.

No exceptions for rape or incest.

Doctors could face 99 years in prison for providing abortions.

This is a war on women, and it is time to fight like hell. https://t.co/lhwlbyeQsl

— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) May 15, 2019

We’re facing an all-out assault on women’s constitutional rights, explicitly aimed at overturning Roe v. Wade. We need to loudly proclaim that reproductive rights are nonnegotiable, and join together to defend them at every level—in Washington, in the courts, and in the states.

— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) May 15, 2019

How come the same lawmakers who say gun laws won’t stop gun violence believe abortion laws will stop abortion? https://t.co/7E6u31VRCO

— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) May 15, 2019

Don’t move forward after reading this like everything is normal. Don’t shake your head at Alabama and then keep going about your day. Realize that this is a warning. It’s Alabama and abortion today. It’s you and your rights tomorrow. Your silence will not save you. So speak up. https://t.co/kIz78uAU1T

— Ava DuVernay (@ava) May 15, 2019

There is no punishment in this bill for the man doing the impregnating, except presumably the obligation to pay child support in some cases

— Laura Bassett (@LEBassett) May 15, 2019

Just so we’re clear, now in Alabama, a man who rapes a woman and gets her pregnant will serve less time (if even convicted) than the person who removes the embryo that was forcibly put inside his victim.

— The Volatile Mermaid (@OhNoSheTwitnt) May 15, 2019

Jamil, who called Georgia’s recent abortion law “so upsetting, inhumane, and blatantly demonstrative of a hatred of women, a disregard for our rights, bodies, and mental health,” also shared her own personal abortion experience.

“I had an abortion when I was young, and it was the best decision I have ever made,” she explained. “Both for me, and for the baby I didn’t want, and wasn’t ready for, emotionally, psychologically and financially…”

I had an abortion when I was young, and it was the best decision I have ever made. Both for me, and for the baby I didn’t want, and wasn’t ready for, emotionally, psychologically and financially. So many children will end up in foster homes. So many lives ruined. So very cruel.

— Jameela Jamil 🌈 (@jameelajamil) May 13, 2019

The anti-abortion law is also especially targeted at those without the means/ability to move state. Women who are marginalized, poor or disabled will, as ever, be the ones to suffer the most. The wealthy will have so much more freedom.

— Jameela Jamil 🌈 (@jameelajamil) May 13, 2019

Busy Phillips, who recently opened up about having an abortion when she was 15 years old, weighed in on Alabama’s bill, encouraging women to share their stories with the hashtag #youknowme.

1 in 4 women have had an abortion. Many people think they don’t know someone who has, but #youknowme. So let’s do this: if you are also the 1 in 4, let’s share it and start to end the shame. Use #youknowme and share your truth.

— Busy Philipps (@BusyPhilipps) May 15, 2019

Hillary Clinton also condemned the bills and urged people to fight back against anti-abortion policies like it by supporting The National Network of Abortion Funds, and organizations that are working to elect more pro-choice candidates to office, such as Emerge America, Emily’s List, Run For Something, and Supermajority. Many also suggested donating to The Yellowhammer Fund, which helps women seeking care at one of Alabama’s three abortion clinics with funding, travel arrangements, lodging, and more.

The abortion bans in Alabama, Georgia, Ohio, Kentucky, and Mississippi are appalling attacks on women’s lives and fundamental freedoms.

Women’s rights are human rights.

We will not go back.

— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) May 15, 2019

None of us should accept a future in which our daughters and granddaughters have fewer rights than we do.

Choose a way to help, ask a friend to join you, and let’s get to work.

— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) May 15, 2019

As women struggle to grapple with the idea of taking a monumental step backwards in history, men are speaking up in solidarity as well. Male politicians, actors, and activists are raising their voices and standing by women’s right to choose what’s right for themselves and their own bodies.

The Alabama legislature is ignoring science, criminalizing abortion, and punishing women.

Instead, the government’s role should be to make sure all women have access to comprehensive affordable care, and that includes safe and legal abortion.https://t.co/pU0rKy0fED

— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) May 15, 2019

We will fight these dangerous efforts with everything we’ve got in legislatures across the country, in the courts, and at the ballot box. We will win.

Take action now by supporting organizations like @PPFA that provide critical health care to millions. https://t.co/jXx5wHhFBj

— Beto O’Rourke (@BetoORourke) May 15, 2019

Make no mistake: right now, in front of our eyes, the Republicans are coming after Roe v. Wade. We won’t stand for this. We will fight back.

— Jay Inslee (@JayInslee) May 15, 2019

This is absolutely unbelievable. If you’re not worried about roe v wade, you’re not paying attention. This is why voting matters!! https://t.co/gZ5lrj7tQ1

— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) May 15, 2019

Imagine thinking your state is “pro-life” when you’re:

– 2nd in Gun Violence

– 45th in Health Care

– 50th in Education

– 45th in opportunity for residents

– 45th in crime and corrections

It sounds more like pro-forced birth than anything to do w/ the sanctity of life. #Alabama

— Matt Deitsch (@MattxRed) May 15, 2019

there’s not a single thing in this world a male could experience that would even come close to the indignity of being legally forced to carry your rapist’s baby to term

— Brandon McCarthy (@BMcCarthy32) May 15, 2019

The fate of the bill now rests in Republican Gov. Kay Ivey’s hands. She has six days to sign it into legislation, and if she does, the restrictions would go into effect six months later.

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