April showers bring May Flowers and those flowers are usually bestowed upon Mothers everywhere on Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day can be traced back to ancient times, but it became an official U.S. holiday through the efforts of Anna Jarvis. Jarvis argued that most American holidays focused on male achievements and she advocated for a special day honoring motherhood after the death of her mother.
In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure establishing the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. It’s a day where motherhood is honored. But this month while we celebrated Mothers we also witnessed new anti-abortion bans being passed that addresses Motherhood from the viewpoint of life over choice.
On May 15, 2019, just three days after Mother’s Day, the Republican-dominated legislature in Alabama passed the most restrictive anti-abortion bill in the nation as reported through various news and social media outlets. Specifically, banning abortions in nearly all cases. And other states have followed suit. With the new appointment of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, some state legislators appear to be energized to pass more restrictive anti-abortion bills to ultimately challenge Roe v. Wade.
It has been approximately 46 years since a woman’s fundamental right to privacy was established through the landmark case, Roe v. Wade in 1973. This decision protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose whether or not to have an abortion, but at the same time ruled that this right is not absolute and must be balanced against the government’s interests in protecting a women’s health and protecting prenatal life.
However, there were hundreds of protesters who marched to the Alabama capital on Sunday, just one week after Mother's Day chanting "my body, my choice!" and "vote them out!" Showing their support of Roe v. Wade. Those who criticize the Alabama bill have raised the absence of exceptions for rape and incest.
Most other states follow the standard set by the Supreme Court’s Roe decision in 1973, which says abortion is legal until the fetus reaches viability, usually at 24 to 28 weeks. However, some states have passed a "heartbeat" bill prohibiting abortions when doctors detect a fetal heartbeat.
Abortion is black and white for many in our society. You're either judged and called a baby killer or you're saving babies. But it's not that simple even when you are a person of faith. I'm not trying to persuade you one way or another. But we must all consider our own biases and judgments regarding this sensitive matter. What about the woman who is pregnant? A common judgment regarding an unplanned pregnancy is that the woman was irresponsible and not using birth control. However, studies show that half of all unintended pregnancies occur while women are using birth control. With the failure of birth control many women who are at different stages of their lives are conflicted over what to do. We could all do a better job with extending love and compassion to those who are in difficult situations.
So far eight states have new anti-abortion bans:
Is your state on this growing list? According to the New York Times, Louisiana has a bill on the Senate floor that would ban abortions at six weeks. Do you know the abortion law for your state? If not, check this infographic to learn more.