Across the country, states are trying to change laws on abortion. This will change the fate of people who need this procedure. This means people with uteruses can and will lose their right to have an abortion, as protected through the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment. According to the Shouse California Law Group, if someone wants to have an abortion, the best time to receive the procedure is before the fetus is viable (six weeks), or if the procedure is critical to keep the carrier of the fetus alive. But what if people do not know they are pregnant after the six-week mark?
Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, and Rep. Erin Grall, R-Vero Beach of the Florida House of Representatives introduced a new bill to ban abortions after the heartbeat of a fetus can be detected by a physician, as long as the life of the pregnant person is in jeopardy. This means that most people only have six weeks to have an abortion according to americanpregnancy.org.
Since this bill is only allowing abortions before the fetus is “alive,” is it necessarily a bad thing? Will people with uteruses have enough time to know they are pregnant? Ravitz Jessica says otherwise, according to a 2019 CNN article titled “Reasons a Woman May Not Know She’s Pregnant at Six Weeks.” Ravitz asked experts in the field of sexual health and women’s health, and found that it is common for people to not know they are pregnant before the sixth week.
This can only mean that The Florida House of Representatives is making it more difficult for people to receive this procedure. It can make it impossible for those who were unaware they were pregnant before those six weeks to receive an abortion.
The bill does not include exceptions for cases of rape and incest. If a person with a uterus is impregnated by a relative or by someone they did not give consent to, they cannot receive an abortion after the heartbeat can be detected by a physician. If passed, this bill will go into effect on July 1, 2022.
This isn’t the only harsh law on abortions in the United States. Texas, another state trying to restrict abortion procedures, has passed a bill similar to the one in Florida. The Supreme Court is allowing this bill to remain. So, what is stopping every state from banning abortions all together? The future of abortion access in America is uncertain.