Just when I thought the plethora of government attacks on women could not be any more degrading or ridiculous, Arizona went and proved me wrong. The state of Arizona recently passed a bill in its state legislature that sets restrictions on abortions. The unbelievable part of this bill is the fact that it states that the “age” of a zygote should be “calculated from the first day of the last menstrual period of the pregnant woman.”
The main purpose of HB 2036 is supposedly to ban abortions after 20 weeks of a pregnancy, yet this merely obscures the true agenda. The 20-week timeline for pregnancies would not start on the expected date, when fertilization occurred. While doctors use the measurement starting from the date of a woman’s last menstrual period, most politicians are not medical practitioners. They need to stay out of places to which they have no right, including a woman’s uterus.
For those of us who realize that pregnancy does not start until a woman is actually pregnant with a fertilized egg inside her (not a hypothetically soon-to-be fertilized egg), this legislation is really a ban based off of 18 weeks. Banning abortions at the 18-week mark is a major issue because it would also prevent women from obtaining information about the condition of the fetus, since many medical tests are either not performed or are not conclusive within that time frame.
If Arizona lawmakers want to push for an 18-week ban then they should openly state this, instead of this sly manipulation. The legislation has been promoted as a 20-week ban, and little attention has been drawn to the new structure.
Not only is this bill ridiculously duplicitous, it is incredibly sexist, making a presumption that all women are constantly on the cusp of getting pregnant. Declaring a woman pregnant two weeks before she has intercourse and becomes pregnant is ludicrous. Women are not a bunch of empty vessels wandering aimlessly around, waiting to be fertilized.
The bill continues to state that if a woman is within the 18-week time period and does decide to have an abortion the doctor must do a mandatory ultrasound. I am sick of having to defend the notion that when a woman has an abortion she does in fact realize what she is doing.
Women are not running around having numerous abortions as if they are some easy form of birth control. These decisions are made by women who understand their actions. If a woman does not fully comprehend it, it is not because she is stupid, but rather a comment on how education systems within this country are sorely lacking with regard to reproductive health.
The fact that such a bill has passed two different bodies of state legislature is incredibly worrying. There are two reasons as to why such a bill could have been pushed forward: either lawmakers are not taking the time to actually read what they are supporting, or they really do wish to force women into the restrictive role of motherhood. Becoming a mother is a personal choice and for some it is not a viable option. Those who write these laws and those who support them must learn to consider these facts before condoning such degrading ideas.