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Today, women’s health is under attack by the right wing Republicans, specifically those affiliated with the “tea party.” In the “red states,” laws are being enacted with their only real purpose to banning abortion. To subvert the US Constitution, they are making it impossible to run or open an abortion clinic in any state where these laws are being enacted. Each law uses public health regulation to create impossible standards for licenses only hospitals can live up to, even though AMA considers abortion clinics in states without these laws safe.

Today Texas has restricted the abortion clinics with regulations so severe that only 5 of the 42 state clinics are compliant; this means the second largest state by land and one of the 5 largest by population has only 5 clinics statewide. Texas is not the only state to practically ban abortion by forcing the clinics to close statewide. The same laws are being passed in states like Virginia, Alabama, Louisiana, and any other state with Republican dominated state legislators. If successful, abortion rights in our country will be stripped from women all over country.

To make matters worse, the Supreme Court is leaning right posing the biggest threat to women’s rights and reproductive rights in 42 years. The anti-abortion clinic laws will go in front of the high court eventually. Once these laws go in front of the Supreme Court and if the court rules these laws constitutional, states will be empowered to make these laws more and more restrictive leaving women in need of constitutionally protected health care across the country. Women will need to travel across state lines or may need to go halfway across the nation to receive medical care guaranteed by the constitution via the Roe vs Wade decision in 1973.

We cannot turn a blind eye to this problem. Even if it may not be happening here in Maryland, the impact will affect everyone. We must fight to maintain our liberties or slowly we will loose them. Picture a 14-year-old virgin girl in Arlington, Virginia who about five weeks earlier was the victim of a rape. She is scared and traumatized but now she begins to feel morning sickness and has missed her period. She takes a test to find out if she is pregnant and her attacker is the father. She lives in Virginia and the nearest abortion clinic is in DC and MD. She is 14 so she must take public transportation and being around people terrifies her (after all she was just raped). Now imagine it was your spouse carrying another person’s child by force and not by choice. This not a far off dooms day scene; this could happen in the next five years. Virginia has laws pending in the legislature that would all but ban abortion statewide by making abortion clinics close statewide.

Why should we care? We live in Maryland or in Washington, DC and our clinics are safe since we live in places that cherish women’s rights. We should care because it will create ripples that extend beyond borders. Women must be able to have control over their own bodies. Any female has the right to be sexual if they choose and not have it destroy the rest of their life over a moment of weakness. Oppression anywhere to anyone can destroy the fabric of all we hold dear: a free and just society. What if these laws get enacted federally? In that case all women will be threatened.

David Fishman

One Comment

  • Matt Lemp says:

    This is a subject i generally stay away from. I see both sides. From a political standpoint it is lower down on my issues and concerns. I respect both sides. I am in the middle on this one.