Millions of women worldwide, especially in third world countries, suffer daily from insufficient feminine hygiene and healthcare. Many of that results from the lack of abortion clinics or doctors available. So why are women living in the United States, a first-world country with many resources available to them, also being subjected to the same treatment so many women wish they could have? We know of the recent abortion ban overturning Roe v. Wade since it has been circulating in the news. As a shock to many, this ban is sadly becoming a reality. The N.C. legislature's formal decision is harmful regarding the right to bodily autonomy and should be changed.

While the abortion ban was ruled as a national issue, it is a law that gives many states the choice to enforce it if they are willing to or not implement it at all. For this reason, different state legislatures have different outlooks and variations of the law. However, following the historic U.S. Supreme Court decision permitting states to restrict abortion, a federal judge has declared that North Carolina's broad prohibition on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy can be enforced.

NC State Capitol Building

Photo of the state capitol building in Raleigh

U.S. District Judge William Osteen overturned an order that had prevented the ban in a court order on Aug. 17th, stating that the injunction violated the Supreme Court decision that invalidated Roe v. Wade. The law in question, which forbids abortions after 20 weeks, has existed since 1973. Some exceptions were made for abortions due to late-term medical circumstances.

However, as of late, North Carolina has made the surgery permissible until fetal viability, which is often about 23 or 24 weeks of pregnancy. According to Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, enforcing the 20-week ban would pose a hardship for those seeking abortion care. They might now be required to travel outside of the state for abortion care, experience delays in accessing that care, experience dangerous complications with their pregnancy or be forced to carry a pregnancy against their will.

Abortions after 20 weeks are "exceptionally rare and happen because of a tragic health emergency or diagnosis," said Democratic Governor Roy Cooper in a Twitter post after the decision was made. He also argued that the ban would criminalize essential medical care. In general, many feel that the abortion ban is unfair to women.

It is unfair for women to be put on a time limit to carry out something they might be in dire need of later. The choice should be entirely up to each individual and giving them restrictions like this can be very unhealthy and unnecessary. Furthermore, risks such as future health risks for the pregnant individual and fetus and deaths during pregnancy could be avoided as well if the choice of abortion was entirely up to the pregnant individual.

As it would be unfair for the government to mandate men to get vasectomies, there shouldn't be any second guesses about the women in the same case. The government does not deserve to control anyone's body. However, the debate over bodily autonomy would not be the same if it were from the men's side. Rulings such as this ban on abortions implement patriarchal values. If you need any resources regarding reproductive care, abortions or contraceptives, you can use resources such as Planned Parenthood. People's bodies should not be something to be governed, and with early voting taking place from Oct. 20 to Nov. 5, 2022, you can make your voice heard now.