Here’s How Abortion Bans Will Cause Massive Problems for Everyone

The subject of abortion is a complicated and controversial one. And while it will always elicit an emotional reaction, there seems to be a lot of misinformation circulating regarding the laws and procedure — in fact, many people have no idea what actually happens inside abortion clinics. Since the passing of Roe vs. Wade, there have been many bills and laws calling for more restrictions or all-out abortion bans.

Everyone has the right to have a personal opinion on abortion, but we should never let those opinions cloud our judgment of the laws. Facts overwhelmingly indicate that an abortion ban would cause massive problems for everyone. Here’s why abortion bans, even 20 week ones, would be a disaster.

Myths about 20 week abortions

Woman talking to doctor

Who is having these late-term abortions? | Monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images Plus

The latest attempts at abortion bans have to do with late-term abortions, or procedures done after 20 weeks. And no matter how you feel about the subject, at first glance, this may seem like a no-brainer — after all, that’s halfway through a pregnancy. But what many people fail to realize is that 99% of abortions occur long before this time, and when they are needed this late, they’re often needed for complex and tragic situations.

The sad fact is, the vast majority of late-term abortions are performed on women with wanted and planned pregnancies. Fatal fetal abnormalities may be detected, or the mother’s life could be at risk. Taking that option away from women and medical professionals would endanger more lives than it would allegedly save.

Abortion bans are unconstitutional

A pro-choice advocate (R) holds up a red stop sign that says "Stop Abortions Fix Men as pro-life demonstrators march towards the US Supreme Court

Abortion is a constitutional right. | ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images

Since the passing of Roe V. Wade in 1973, abortion has been a constitutional right. The most recent bills are in direct violation of the constitution, and all similar previous bills of that nature have been struck down in court. No matter how you feel about abortion, the idea of going against the Constitution should be alarming.

Abortion bans hurt poor women most

Doctor writing down patient information

Poor women aren’t easily able to afford abortions. | iStock.com/megaflopp

The Hyde Amendment, passed in 1976, has prohibited federal funds (including Medicaid and Affordable Care Act dollars) from covering most abortions. This makes it all but impossible for poor women to have abortions as it is. When you factor in the time it would take a woman living in poverty to save up for an abortion (which can cost up to $950), it’s easy to see why passing restrictions on abortion hurts poor women the most.

 Restricting abortion hurts rape victims

Woman holding a tablet

These laws are tremendously unfair to rape victims. | iStock.com

A common position is to be against abortion except in the case of rape or incest. But passing laws restricting abortions can actually hurt rape victims. In Arkansas, a law was passed earlier this year stating that rape victims must notify the rapist before terminating a pregnancy. Rapists can also sue the women who plan to get abortions, causing an undue amount of stress on an already traumatized victim.

These horrendous laws could cause rape victims to resort to “back alley” abortions or carry their pregnancies to term, in which case they may have to share custody of the children with the rapist fathers. Anyone who has been a victim of rape will tell you how horrifying and unfair this is.

Abortion bans interfere with the patient-provider relationship

Medical physician doctor woman writing with laptop on table

This bill would put an extreme strain on the patient-provider relationship. | iStock.com

The latest abortion ban bill would penalize abortion providers who perform or attempt to perform abortions after an arbitrary cutoff date with up to five years of imprisonment. This interferes with the patient-provider relationship by putting politics before the patient’s health needs, which is, at best, highly unethical.

Most importantly, banning abortion doesn’t reduce abortion rates

Man holding a book

Women will still find ways to have abortions. | Peter Muhly/AFP/Getty Images

Those old enough to remember a time when abortion was illegal tend to also remember that women had them anyway. A report from the Lancet, a medical journal, shows that the abortion rate in countries that have banned them is actually higher than in countries where women have the right to terminate a pregnancy. Voting to ban abortions only restricts women’s access to safe abortions, which is simply cruel.

Here’s how to safely reduce abortions

Woman looking at ultrasound results with doctor.

There are plenty of ways we can help lower abortion rates. | Chris Ryan/Getty Images

While the majority of Americans are pro-choice, millions of Americans would like to see a world where abortions never, or rarely, happened. The good news is that we can reduce the number of abortions in this country without passing restrictive laws.

One of the best ways to reduce abortion rates is to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies. In recent years, abortion rates have gone down, and that can be traced to an increase in the availability of birth control.  Educating people about safe sex practices and providing people with birth control is the best way to prevent unwanted pregnancies. In fact, a 2012 study showed that giving free birth control to women is extremely successful in lowering abortion rates.

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