By Arlette Carino and Jolie Lenga, Guest Contributors
In the last decade, barriers to women’s reproductive health care access, most notably but certainly not limited to resources regarding termination of pregnancies, have been increasing at the local, regional, and national levels. Two years ago, 19 states adopted 63 restrictions on reproductive care access. This year, four states have passed what are known as “heartbeat bills”, named as such because it bans abortion as early as six weeks into pregnancy, which is when an electric pulse of what will become a fetus’ heart is detectable. It is also at this point that most wouldn’t even know they are pregnant.
In the state of Missouri, only one abortion clinic remains open. If it closes, it would be the first time a U.S. state would not have an abortion clinic since the Supreme Court ruling on Roe v. Wade, in 1974.
Earlier this year, Alabama passed a similar law, only it outlaws abortion at all stages of pregnancy. This bill does not exclude pregnancy resulting from rape or incest. As reported by The Atlantic, a total of 32,101 cases of rape-related pregnancies occurred in the U.S. alone over the course of a year. As is, there is very limited access to abortion providers in the United States, considering that 90 percent of U.S. counties don’t have any at all. Abortion is still legal in every state — it’s just under attack and at risk for becoming otherwise. In the state of Alabama, a woman must go through state-directed counseling that includes information designed to discourage her from having an abortion, and then wait 48 hours before the procedure is provided.
We are a group of students in the Hamm Leadership Program, here, at Exeter Summer. We are working together to present real information to the Phillips Exeter community -, students, faculty and beyond. The matters of this issue are constantly blurred by the bias of both political parties, but we are here to provide to everyone a non-biased source of information on reproductive rights so that they can develop their own opinions, become more educated on the topic, and start the conversation on reproduction rights, whether it be in school, with friends, or with their family. Our goal is to provide everyone with both sides of the controversial topic without clouding their minds with our opinions. Follow our page on instagram @factsofreproductiverights for more information on this topic. Again, we are a group of students who want to inform the people of the choices women have and inform what is going on in our world today.