Abortion. What once was simply a medical procedure has morphed into the hottest political topic of the last 50 years.
This dividing issue has trickled down from the rural areas of our state and infiltrated Jefferson City in the form of five bills.
House Bill 126 will prohibit abortions in Missouri after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as six weeks. It will also require both parents to give consent (if the person seeking an abortion is a minor). There are no exceptions for rape or incest. Also there is another House Bill (315)) and three Senate Bills (279, 139 and 345) that would interfere with the current laws on abortion.
If passed, these bills will make Missouri the most restrictive state regarding abortion in the country.
“The new bill states that you can’t get an abortion after there’s a heartbeat, which I understand, because in my opinion I think at that point it’s a human,” senior Mackenzie Chiodini said, “but I do think you should be able to get an abortion if it’s rape, incest or due to health concerns.”
With no exceptions for rape and incest, these bills are not “saving the babies” like supporters think; they are forcing children to give birth to babies that they didn’t want.
In addition, making a minor get consent from both parents just makes the process harder and even dangerous for young people. In the case of separated parents, parents living in a different state than the minor or an abusive parent, it is easily conceivable that the minor would be unable to get consent from both parents.
People against choice and for these bills often argue that adoption is always an option. In a perfect world it would be, but when according to childrensrights.org, “On any given day, there are nearly 438,000 children in foster care in the United States,” it is very unlikely that the baby will find a permanent home.
People also often argue that abortion goes against their religion. That is a completely valid point, but abortion being legal doesn’t force anyone to have to get one; it simply gives women a choice. Making it harder to get abortions and outlawing them altogether won’t stop the procedures from happening; it will just make them more dangerous.
“I went to PSR (Public School Religion) for a really long time, and my family is super religious, so we were taught that abortion was wrong,” senior Cielo Munoz said. “The church says that, but at the same time, God loves you no matter what. Even if you do get an abortion, God is still your father, so he’s going to love you. It is considered a sin, but all sins are forgiven through the Lord.”
“I am pro choice,” Munoz added. “Even if I wouldn’t personally do it, I don’t think a book or a law should determine the well being of another person. That’s not right. If you say that just because you’re religious, you don’t support choice, then you obviously haven’t read the Bible. Many times in the Bible it says that even if you do commit a sin, you’re still loved. It’s a decision you make for yourself, and that’s between you and the Lord– not anyone else.”
Despite personal beliefs, everyone should be entitled to make decisions about their body and their health, and these bills are infringing on that right.
This is Eleanor Marshall’s first year on ECHO staff, but she made several contributions while taking journalism class her sophomore year. She has been recognized for her work by JournalismSTL, MJEAand MIPA.