September 27, 2022

Opinion: Dangers of “Heartbeat Act”

This past May, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed the “Heartbeat Act” into law. More recently, this act has gone into full effect in the state of Texas. 

The “Heartbeat Act” is an anti-abortion law that now makes it illegal for abortions to occur six weeks or later into a pregnancy, the time at which a heartbeat can be detected. This includes instances of rape and incest. Even institutions that provide abortions can be sued. 

The only way an individual in Texas can now get an abortion is to travel across state lines to a state where abortion is legal.

As a woman in America, this new law is utterly gut wrenching. Not even in cases of rape and incest? Under this, victums of sexual violence that become pregnant are forced into parenthood. 

Woman, children, transgender men and others are all affected by this law. The birth rates in Texas are going to be higher and the number of children in foster homes are going to increase. Not to mention the amount of children who are going to suffer abuse and negligence due to being born into a family that simply was not ready for the responsibility of children. 

This is a direct violation of Roe v Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court case that established a constitutional right for women to have access to abortion. 

Taking away the access to this prodecure does not make one pro-life, it makes them anti-women. Women should not have to explain their sexual history in order to receive this form of healthcare. The reasonings for someone needing an abortion are unnecessary and unimportant and simply, not anyone’s buisness but their own. 

According to Planned Parenthood’s website, one in four women in America will have an abortion by the age of 45. There are roughly 1,979 female students attending Capital University, according to College Factual. If this statistic is correct, then roughly 495 Capital students will have an abortion before they are 45 years old. 

The reasoning for these hypothetical abortions are irrelevant, but imagine the damange that would be caused in the lives of those 495 if a law similar to the “Hearbeat Act” were signed in Ohio. 

That damage is from the University’s demographic alone. What would the damage look like on a higher scale? Texas in a few years will turn this statistic into a reality.

Taking away a woman’s right to her body will cause the woman to do anything to take that control back. There have been many extreme cases where unsafe, home abortions have been done. Drug usuage, chemicals being poured into the vaginal cavity, extreme exercise and the ingestion of harmful foods and alcohol are all different ways in which home abortions have been performed. For obvious reasons, nobody should be forced to feel as if these extremely dangerous and harmful methods are their last option. 

If women are forced to undergo an unwanted pregnancy because the “child’s life matters,” then the mother’s life should matter as well. Affordable healthcare should be accessible, along with paid maternity leave, affordable maternity clothes, accessible therapy and affordable baby clothes and supplies. 

Someone who is forced to go through an unwanted pregnancy not only undergoes both the physical and mental changes, but also the financial responsibility as well. Someone should not be financially responsible for a pregnancy that is being forced upon them. 

Science does not support pro-life agenda either. The idea that life begins at conception cannot be scientifically proven. Even the Heartbeat Act can be disproved by science. 

A fetus cannot survive outside of the womb at six weeks, despite having a heartbeat. It is not developed enough to breathe air, send blood throughout the body, or have any type of cognitive thought. The valves in the heart are not developed so despite having a heartbeat, the heart does not do anything to keep the fetus alive. 

The scientific studies that focus on the affects of women post-abortion versus woman who go full term in their unwanted pregnancy have shown that the psychological results have been significantly worse in the women who undergo the unwanted pregnancy. Drug abuse, anxiety and depression are all common things that those women suffer from. 

These facts show that the support of the Heartbeat Act is not backed by science, but religion. Religion should not be in politics. Not every American is religious, or even on a standard baseline agreement on religion. 

For example, in Christianity alone there are different denominations. These denominations, while agreeing in certain areas, have different morals and beliefs. How can laws that are supported by religion be enforced on someone who does not agree with the religious beliefs behind said law? 

More arguments can be made when defending abortion rights such as a penalties for absent fathers, insurance claims and miscarriage. The amount of arguments for pro-choice verses pro-life counterarguments just show how unscientific and unconstitutional laws like the Heartbeat Act are. 

  • Shirleeah is the Managing Editor for the Chimes and a junior at Capital University, majoring in Art Therapy.

Leave a Reply