Target: Arkansas state legislature
Goal: Repeal extreme and unconstitutional abortion law that bans abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy
In a move that marks the most extreme abortion law in the country and opposes Governor Mike Bebee’s veto, legislators in Arkansas have banned abortions that occur past 12 weeks. This new law is in direct violation of Roe v. Wade, which entitles every woman to a safe and legal abortion so long as the fetus cannot viably survive outside of the womb. The youngest premature birth ever recorded was at 21 weeks, nine weeks after the ridiculous limitation Arkansas has set. This new law is blatantly unconstitutional and a massive step back in the continued fight for women’s rights.
A woman 12 weeks into her pregnancy is not only still in her first trimester, but has often just discovered that she is pregnant. To put things in context, this new ban is two months earlier than any other state in the nation. The 12 week limitation has the greatest impact on the poor and the young. Those who do not have the immediate economic means to pay for an abortion can obviously not get one. Teenagers will often hold off on telling their parents for reasons that span from fear of repercussions to attempts to hide rape or sexual abuse. In fact, nearly one-third of all abortions after 12 weeks are teen abortions.
In addition to these difficulties, there are many reasons that a woman will not have an abortion right away. Not only do woman face an intense moral decision, but often a pregnancy can go missed for a substantial amount of time. According to the National Abortion Federation, these reasons include undiagnosed pregnancies, medical complications, tragic events, and a shortage of physicians. Even outside of the new 12 week law, Arkansas does not make abortion easy for women to begin with. Those considering an abortionmust attend a mandatory lecture that is followed by a waiting period, there are insurance coverage restrictions, state-funded clinics are not allowed to help a patient find an abortion provider, and there are parental notification laws.
All women deserve the right to choose what they do and do not do with their bodies. Arkansas’ new law is ridiculous and unrealistic—it strips the basic right of self-governance from women and preys specifically on poor and young women, girls even. Governor Mike Bebee was adamant when he vetoed the law, stating that it “blatantly contradicts the United States Constitution, as interpreted by the Supreme Court.” Stand up for women’s rights today—demand that Arkansas lawmakers repeal this grossly extreme and unconstitutional law immediately.
Dear Arkansas State Legislature,
The abortion ban you recently passed, which denies women the right to an abortion past 12 weeks gestation, is extreme and unconstitutional. This law is in direct violation of Roe v. Wade, which states that abortions are legal as long as the fetus cannot viably survive outside of the womb and cites fetal viability at 23 weeks. How can you decide that an abortion cannot occur past 12 weeks when the youngest premature baby ever born was at 21 weeks, nine weeks after the limit of the ban you have instated?
This law denies all women their right to choose and specifically preys upon women who cannot afford abortions, women who are afraid of revealing that they are pregnant, women who have difficulty scheduling an abortion, and women for whom early pregnancy detection failed. In other words, you are preying upon single mothers, women with full time jobs, women who are socioeconomically disadvantaged, teens, and victims of rape and sexual abuse.
This abortion ban is abhorrent and a massive step back in the continued fight for women’s rights. I demand that you repeal it immediately.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Steve Rhodes via Flickr