The end of 2012 was a heated time for the state of Michigan and a particularly busy period for the legislators in Lansing.
While some legislation pushed through the controversial lame-duck sessions made national headlines, including decisions such as the right-to-work laws signed in by Gov. Rick Snyder, others seemed to slip through the cracks almost unnoticed.
One of the most drastic of these regards the topic of abortion.
Omari Sankofa II
On Dec. 28, Gov. Snyder signed into law new wide-ranging restrictions on legal abortions, specifically addressing the mental rationale of patients. Under the new law, private medical offices that perform abortions now are required to be licensed as surgical facilities, and women seeking an abortion must meet with a health care professional prior to the operation. During this meeting, the specialist determines the rationale behind their decision to have an abortion and attempts to ensure that a woman is not being forced into the abortion.
In addition, health care providers also can refuse service to those women seeking an abortion under the grounds their “conscience so dictates.”
Although parts of this legislation are seen as a major triumph by Planned Parenthood spokespersons, when considering the restrictions surrounding this new legislation, it poses the question: how can you decide whether a woman is being coerced in her decision to have an abortion?
Overall, the decisions surrounding someone’s body should be made solely by that individual.
Americans are born with the same basic and unified freedoms, as well as the promise that these liberties never will be tampered with or tarnished. Although requesting private offices be licensed as surgical facilities and health care providers perform an evaluation of the patient can be seen as strides in ensuring an individual’s safety, by allowing an outside force to have the final say creates an obstacle that might further pose harm to any denied woman.
Allowing a stranger to have such a big influence on someone’s future, particularly when referring to their body, simply because their “conscience so dictates,” creates a barricade that might force women seeking an abortion to find alternative means to having the operation.
Would the way in which the pregnancy, such as by rape, determine it was unjust for a woman to have an abortion?
Would this idea seem as strange if it was regarding the conscious mindset of someone who was deciding to get a tattoo?
Regarding an individual’s civil liberties surrounding this issue, it easily can be compared to freedom of speech. Despite their obvious differences, no one should be allowed to push their ideas on others simply because their ideas differ.
What anyone decides to do with his or her body is his or her own business. By taking away this inherent right, it not only risks one’s safety, but the validity of the system we are told to trust.