HEALTH DIVA: The Abortion Battle, What Does it Mean?

By   |   July 22, 2013   |   Entertainment, Fitness

Resident Health Diva Dr. Janna Andrews takes a closer look at the new abortion laws in several states and weighs in.

Roe vs. Wade passed on January 22, 1973. The Supreme Court landmark decision acknowledged that women had a fundamental right to abortions and privacy in their decision surrounding abortion. The court essentially gave women and their physicians the right to undergo abortions during the first trimester. One major caveat of Roe vs. Wade was the right to an abortion until fetal viability.

Texas is in the spotlight now regarding its abortion restrictions but it is just one of many states enforcing more stringent restrictions on abortion. The Texas bill bans abortions past 20 weeks of pregnancy, and all abortions will have to take place in surgical centers.

It will limit a womanΓÇÖs ability to induce an abortion by pill by dictating that the pill is given in an ambulatory setting in case of complications. These restrictions will be extremely cost prohibitive and will likely deter many women, especially the uninsured or under-insured.

With fewer clinics able to offer abortions, the wait for an appointment may cause many women to miss the 20-week deadline. The bill also ties the hands of abortion providers.

The bells and whistles of the political process and strategy were front and center when Democrat Sen. Wendy Davis caused a filibuster in an attempt to prevent passing TexasΓÇÖ rigid legislature. However, the legislature passed through the majority Republican Senate and was applauded by Gov. Perry.

Democrats have vowed to fight the anti abortion legislature as the bill contradicts the 1973 Supreme Court ruling pinpointing fetal viability. While Texas may be the most visible, many states seemed to have waged wars on abortion. The outcome in Texas will set the tone for the rest of the states. The climate toward abortion in this country has been less pro-choice in recent years; it is obviously a very loaded issue.

That being said, physicians in Texas and around the country are outraged. Abortion is a personal choice that was decided by the Supreme Court. How an abortion is performed, however, is purely clinical and should not be in the hands of those with no medical degree.

This bill may recreate the same horrible conditions that women faced prior to Roe vs. Wade: botched abortions, the unnecessary loss of womenΓÇÖs lives, black market abortions performed by unlicensed untrained providers.

I can’t help but think that there is a feel of class warfare to this bill. Affluent or middle class women may be inconvenienced, but they will still have access. Poor women may have to resort to desperate measures as history has already demonstrated. It begs the question, why are such severe restrictions being made, what is the expected outcome?

photo credit: adamr/

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