Heartbeat bill threatens women’s rights


Kate Kealey

Life’s Little Treasures is a resale shop in Davenport, all proceeds go to QC Right to Life.

Kate Kealey, Editor in Chief

Recently many states including Iowa have tried to pass the Heartbeat Bill. Don’t let the title fool you, this bill was designed by a party of white men intending to strip women of basic reproductive rights. The bill makes it illegal for any woman living in that state to receive an abortion after the fetal heartbeat is detected.

I struggle supporting any type of bill that tells a female what she can and can’t do with her body, because I believe every woman, as well as her history and medical history, is an individual situation. These laws tend to ignore this, forcing women who have been raped, experienced incest, and who aren’t financially, mentally, and physically ready to bare a child.

Abortions became legal in 1973 when the Supreme Court decided it was protected under the Fourteenth Amendment as a “right to privacy” in the case of Roe v. Wade. Even though this decision still stands at a federal level, states are attempting to make it as difficult for women, specifically women in poverty, to receive an abortion as possible.

The goal of these restrictions is to bring the discussion of abortion back to the U.S. Supreme Court and overturn Roe v. Wade, making abortions illegal in every state.

Junior Adam Parcel is pro-life because of his religion, and believes human life starts from conception.

“One of the biggest aspects of my life is my faith, and as a practicing Christian I believe we shouldn’t support abortion laws,” Parcel said. “As it says in the Bible, and in my own opinion, once conception happens, they have the spirit of God upon them, and it is a living human being.”

Parcel believes the only time abortion is acceptable is if giving birth can harm the mother, but in cases such as rape and incest, the child still should be born.

“Obviously these are awful situations. The way I see it is that it is still a living thing,” Parcel said. “I am not saying you have to raise the child or support it, but at least carry it to life so you are not hurting another human being.”

This is where I struggle with the pro-life stance. Conservatives are rushing to pass these bills forcing women to carry a child they are not ready to have and may not want. When we shut the door on abortion, it opens many other far more dangerous ones, such as unsafe abortions, also known as back alley abortions.

According to the World Health Organization, an unsafe abortion is usually performed in an unhygienic environment. It is often self performed, or performed by someone who doesn’t follow the correct medical procedure.

Government teacher DiAnna Perez believes making abortions illegal is sending us back to a time when men decided what rights a woman does and doesn’t have.

“I don’t think their goal is to prevent abortion, I think it is to control women,” Perez said. “I do not know if they think they will get away with it because the law is unconstitutional. I think it will be struck down in Supreme Court because it is setting a dangerous precedent.”
I used to agree with Perez, but now after recent changes in Supreme Court Justices, I now worry for my own constitutional rights as a female. The debate stance of life tends to be a Republican platform, and even though Justices are not attached to any party, the president that appointed them usually chooses someone that will support their views.

Now that the court leans more conservative, if the debate of abortion is brought back to the supreme court, it is likely to be overturned.

The only reason I could see Republicans not taking advantage of this is so they can continue to use this as bait for the liberal pro-life population. Although President Trump is pro-life, he said in a Tweet, “We must stick together, and win for Life in 2020”. Just glancing over this he seems to be pro-life, but in reality he is hoping to use the war on choice as an incentive to receive more votes in 2020.

Still, the future for women’s reproductive rights looks grim. In Iowa, the closest Planned Parenthood is in Iowa City, after the closing of the Bettendorf branch due to the cut of family planning funds for organizations that supply abortions.

Even though abortion is not illegal in the state of Iowa, this already creates a barrier for women in poverty that lack transportation or funds for transportation to go and receive an abortion.

If abortion is banned people will always find a way to access them. While people in poverty will resort to back alley abortions, upper class citizens will be able to access them at a price. The drug industry is a prime example of this. I always remember my grandpa telling me that cocaine is a “rich man’s drug” and I never truly understood this.

Cocaine tends to be more expensive compared to crack. This is because cocaine comes from an indigenous plant to America, whereas crack derives from cocaine and is a mixture of baking soda, water, and the chemical ammonia. Just like abortion, the more you pay, the better quality you receive.

Even if this inequality could be resolved, it does not change the fact that the service of an abortion is a form of healthcare, and healthcare should always be between a patient and their doctor.