Editorials, Opinions

Letter from the Editors: Women should have the right to decide what they do with their bodies

Idaho became one of the first states to pass an abortion ban based on Texas’ strict law on Monday, March 14. The Texan law allows private citizens to enforce a ban on abortion after six months of pregnancy.

With everything happening in the world at the moment and the bill being passed during Women’s History Month, it is an important topic that should be discussed.

Half of the Daily Forty-Niner newsroom editorial staff members identify as women.

Discussing these laws is not only important to the affected individuals on the publication, but it also affects our friends, family, loved ones, and future daughters.

The anti-abortion laws that want to restrict women’s reproductive rights are unfortunately not anything new to this country. The fear that comes with laws being passed in states such as Idaho puts women who live in those states in difficult situations.

Women should have the right to make their own decisions about what to do with their bodies. And for those decisions not to be influenced by politicians who will never or have never experienced the stress and hardship that comes with making the decision to carry a baby or have an abortion.

The debate surrounding women’s reproduction rights often ends up in a discussion about religion. Even though it can be respected that certain religions don’t approve of abortion, it is still a choice whether a woman keeps a baby or doesn’t. The decision should be based on the individual’s belief system, not of some politician. It’s a choice that women should take on their own.

There are various scenarios that may lead to them making that decision – not being healthy enough to give birth, not being emotionally available for the responsibility, or they could have been sexually assaulted – it is such a personal decision that no one outside of the woman who is about to carry a child if they so choose, should have the final say.

These new bills are regressing gender equality in the U.S. that have been so strongly worked towards since the 1960s. They are dismantling women’s reproduction rights that are guaranteed through Roe v Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that guarantees abortion as a constitutional right. However, even that law is still being challenged today.

The case that has brought the topic of women’s reproductive rights back to the Supreme Court is Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which derives from the 2018 Mississippi law banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy except in medical emergencies. The court is deciding whether all pre-viability bans on elective abortions are unconstitutional.

The looming decision of the Supreme Court will be telling of how much the judicial system actually works in favor of its citizens.

But most of our hopes aren’t too high that the right decision will be made taking into consideration who sits at the court right now. Due to former President Donald Trump appointing three judges to fill Supreme Court vacancies, conservatives on the bench have a 6-3 majority.

In the past, some conservative Supreme Court justices have voted in favor of more modern ways of thinking in cases. We’ll just have to hope that they decide to keep the decision that has already been made with Roe v Wade.

Until the day that the court makes its decision, the Daily Forty-Niner will continue advocating for women’s reproduction rights, and women’s rights in general.

We want to continue sharing information on these decisions that affect the women on our campus, in Long Beach, and in the country. We will share the resources on our campus that can help if someone is going through a difficult situation of having to make a decision for their body.

We will continue to share the stories of women on our campus and in our community because it is one of many ways to amplify female voices.

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