Banning Abortions at 12 Weeks Is as Cruel as It Is Unconstitutional

abortion buttonIs it me, or does this country seem like it's on a crazy, runaway anti-abortion train? I think we all have deeply ambivalent feelings about abortion. None of us are cheering, "YAY! ABORTIONS FOR EVERYONE! WOO!" But at the same time, there still seems to be support for the right to have an abortion under certain circumstances. Meanwhile, some legislators are trying to literally END abortion forever and ever. What a relief, then, to find out that Arkansas governor Mike Beebe is trying to stop the crazy train, at least in his state. He just vetoed a bill that would ban abortion after 12 weeks.

If passed, this bill would become the strictest abortion law on the books. Beebe says it's unconstitutional. But he may lose this fight -- he vetoed another bill banning abortion after 20 weeks, and the Arkansas legislature overrode his veto.

Governor Beebe is going by the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, where the Supreme Court legalized abortion until a fetus could survive outside the womb, around 22 to 24 weeks. Here's what he said in his veto letter.

Because it would impose a ban on a woman's right to choose an elective, nontherapeutic abortion well before viability, Senate Bill 134 blatantly contradicts the United States Constitution, as interpreted by the Supreme Court. When I was sworn in as governor I took an oath to preserve, protect, and defend both the Arkansas Constitution and the Constitution of the United States. I take that oath seriously.

Some Arkansas lawmakers are vowing to override this veto, too. But they may have finally, FINALLY pushed the anti-abortion boundaries too far. Rep. Greg Leding says lawmakers are getting pressure from their constituents to chill the hell out on the anti-abortion laws. "We pushed as hard as we could last time and came up short, and I don't expect to see that kind of effort this time."

Overall, it looks like politicians overestimate how conservative their constituents are -- by a long shot. Someone forgot to send them the memo that Americans are diverse and open-minded. We're not all reactionary wing-nuts, you guys!

Have we finally had enough -- all over the nation? I know we, collectively as Americans, seem to want some clear laws for abortion. We want those laws to be fair and to reflect reality. Lately, though, anti-abortion laws have taken on a harsh, punishing tone. Lawmakers have created this abortion-hungry straw woman, if you will. This imaginary woman who keeps screwing everything in sight, never using birth control, and running into the abortion clinic every chance she can get like they're giving away candy.

I think we all know that's not the reality. And it's about time we start treating abortion seriously, like adults. I'm glad Governor Beebe stood up extreme lawmakers in his state, and I hope more leaders do the same.

What do you think of Arkansas' bill to ban abortion after 12 weeks?

 

Image via Robert Couse-Baker/Flickr

abortion, in the news, law, women's issues

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lobus lobus

I think its good...naturally, a woman can expell a fetus usually up to 12 weeks as a miscarriage. Why dont abortion regulations follow that? I think around 20 weeks is a bit....horrendous to have one. And 12 weeks should be enough time to figure out that youre pregnant and you dont want it.

nonmember avatar blue

Morally, I am in no way against it. However, I don't think our government needs to be dealing with "moral" choices like this. I don't want to live in a country, whose government can tell a woman what to do with her body. (Expect, of course for the laws already in place. No abortion after viability.) Let each person deal with their own choices. I think abortion is wrong, but I don't think what I won't do...should dictate what others do.

kever... keversole

The thing that gets me is that most of the bans they want to put on abortion don't take into condieration things like rape, incest, and whether the pregnancy will hurt the mother. I live in a VERY conservative state and applauded our governor when he rejected a ban on abortion here because they refused to allow any excepts. Some people don't understand other people situations but still want to push they're opinions on them like it makes no difference. 

kever... keversole

consideration* and also, i agree that 12 weeks should be enough time to decide. 

Doomy234 Doomy234

Agree with lobus. 3 months is plenty of time to decide if you want an abortion or not. I'd be not so okay with 20 weeks, thats half a pregnancy and into the second trimester when the fetus is developing rapidly.

I am not against abortion, but I think if you're going to wait more than half the pregnancy to have one, why not just carry it to term and give it up for adoption?

gsmom... gsmommy2204

I think 12 weeks is reasonable. However, each situation is different, so it's hard to agree that it's fair to everyone. Someone honestly may not know they're pregnant until later than the allotted time - what happens then? If they have AIDS, pass on another life threatening illness, etc., are they still denied an abortion? Ido believe that every person is entitled to make their own decisions in life as taxpayers, citizens & human beings.

Autum... Autumnleaves87

I think people like lobus and the Arkansas legislator need to stop inserting their wacko beliefs into other peoples lives.



Allllllllll the crazies exit stage left please.

Rando... Randomlady

There are quite a few women out there who don't even know they are pregnant until after 3 months, my mother was one of them. I'm just saying there are certain exceptions to the rule, als if you think about it there are young girls who deny they are pregnant until very late and want to get rid of it as well.

laure... laurenemb

Totally agree on the 12 v. 20 weeks. Also love the comment on the imaginary woman getting abortions - it's not women recklessly getting pregnant and aborting in a vicious cycle. It's a heart wrenching decision for anyone, but should not be the decision of a lawmaker or a conservative who was never put between such a rock and a hard place.

lulou lulou

Im baffled by why this is even on their agenda this year, dont they have other issues to work on.

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