A Ban on Abortion is an Attack on Victims of Sexual Assault
You’d have to have been living under a rock not to notice the full-on assault currently facing legal abortion – and thereby women’s and civil rights as a whole – in our country. Just last week, Louisiana joined Missouri, Alabama, and Georgia in passing so-called “heartbeat bills,” or bills outlawing most all abortions once a heartbeat can be detected. This usually occurs at the embryonic stage (five to six weeks), before most women even know they’re pregnant.
Given the way many of these laws are written, women and doctors will potentially face greater legal sanction and prison time for a medical service than a rapist would serve for the actual assault.
Beyond posing a dangerous threat to the health, futures, reproductive and civil rights of women across this country – and straight-up denying the personhood of half the population – these actions would only further deny justice to victims of sexual assault. In fact, you don’t have to read too far into the details to see how these abortion bans protect rapists over women, girls, and those trying to provide them aid and assistance.
All of these recent laws have yet to be enacted, but they are most certainly part of a larger conservative movement pushing to have Roe v. Wade overturned at the Supreme Court level. If you’ve found my page, I can’t presume that you share my exact politics, but I assume you’re here looking for expertise. So let me tell you, in no uncertain terms, that this movement would be harmful to the already vulnerable population of women who have been sexually assaulted.
And remember, one in every 6 women in this country will be raped or sexually assaulted. The #MeToo movement has been so resonant for this very fact: the experience of sexual violence, harassment, and intimidation is a universal one for women. To dictate how a woman must respond to her own rape – by keeping a baby she didn’t ask for or have control over creating – is horrific and has much greater implications then I can even go into here.
As someone who works with women who have experienced sexualized violence daily, I could talk for a week about the threats currently being posed to rape victims across America. But for now, I’d like to suggest the following articles on the subject:
The Cut, “Which State Will Pass an Extreme Abortion Ban Next?”
Rolling Stone, “How States Like Alabama Protect Rapists Over Women and Girls”
USA Today, “I was 12 years old and pregnant. Alabama’s abortion ban bill would punish girls like me.”