HB 481

Lela Mc Innis, Staff Reporter

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Does an unborn child have the right to life? Should women be put in jail for infringing on this right? Georgia and Alabama say yes.  

Georgia and Alabama have just passed what is said to be the most restrictive abortion laws in the United States.

The bill that was recently passed is called the “Heartbeat bill”, Georgia has recently banned abortions after a heartbeat can be heard. The bill HB 481 has stated that an unborn child is legally a human and deserves the same rights as anyone else.

There are five states not including Georgia and Alabama  who have the six week restriction, three of them being passed in 2019.

If there are other states with the six week restriction why has there been such an uproar about Georgia and Alabama joining those five states?

For Georgia and Alabama they are the only states with the law against abortion and miscarriages that could land the women in jail.  An illegal abortion can now be punishable by life in prison, along with a miscarriage afflicted by the mother can be punishable by 20-30 years in prison.

Senior, Ainsley Zook said, “I believe they had the right idea when introducing the law, however 6 weeks is way too short of a window. Women should be given at least 2 months to make that kind of decision. But I also believe that there should be a limited amount of time for women to make this decision because up to a point it’s not about their body and choice because another life is now involved.”

Sophomore, Joseph Jones said, “I don’t think it’s a good idea to limit access and to penalize doctors for performing abortions especially because there was no case for rape or incest.”

One common misconception people are having about this law is that any woman who has a miscarriage can end up in jail. That is not the case. A woman will only be put in jail if she has done something intentional to have a miscarriage. A quite common example is doing drugs while being pregnant resulting in the unborn child’s death.

Meanwhile in Oregon there is no designated waiting period, ultrasounds or anything of that sort. On top of that minors do not have to inform their parents about them having an abortion. Compared to other states the Oregon statutes are somewhat liberal. Oregon was one of the first states to legalize abortions.

Although Oregon just opened our state to all women being allowed to get an abortion here the Georgia bill states women who traveled to another state to get an abortion can spend up to 10 years in prison.  

Zook said “I understand the idea of minors being able to get one without parents knowing, however I believe it could lead to lawsuits from upset parents who potentially find out and blame the doctors…. Abortion should be legal across the nation because banning it will not stop it from happening and it will cause more harm than anything. However there should be certain legal boundaries, such as the time limit, also the reasons for the abortion should be considered more. Rape and incest victims should always have the choice to abort an unwanted child and women who’s lives are in danger should have the same freedom.”