Georgia and Ohio are in the news for all the wrong reasons.
On Tuesday, Georgia followed the example of Ohio in implementing a law that would make it illegal to terminate a pregnancy as soon as a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. But while the law in Georgia, signed by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, at least allows for victims of rape and incest to terminate their pregnancies, the Ohio law which will come into effect later this year makes no exceptions.
As pointed by Chicago Tribune, Ohio’s Human Rights Protection Act law makes it mandatory even for children who have been raped not to terminate their pregnancies. According to the law, an 11-year-old girl who has been raped would be forced to give birth to the child. While anti-choice activists have denounced criticism claiming that such extreme cases do not exist in real life, the Chicago Tribune found an exact such incident where an 11-year-old girl was allegedly raped by a 26-year-old man. As pointed out, under the new law, the girl will be made to give birth to the child.
Of course, multiple petitions challenging the law in this particular case will most likely the spare the child, but because it would be illegal to terminate such pregnancies under the anti-abortion law is an indication of the route these states have taken.
Under the recently passed Ohio "Heartbeat Law" this 11 year old girl will be forced to carry this pregnancy by rape to term. This is Republican America.— Sam Seder (@SamSeder) May 8, 2019
Police: Ohio man raped 11-year-old who is now pregnant https://t.co/UkM23x6iJU
Numerous polls in states such as Ohio show that more than 70 percent of its residents oppose the anti-abortion bill in its current form. Despite being unpopular, Republican lawmakers have not shied away from implementing the anti-abortion laws, leading to an intense backlash. For example, after the anti-abortion bill was passed in Georgia, three major Hollywood production companies vowed not to film in the state again, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The Wire and The Deuce creator David Simon, who runs Blown Deadline Productions, tweeted that the laws are discriminatory against women.
“I can’t ask any female member of any film production with which I am involved to so marginalize themselves or compromise their inalienable authority over their own bodies. I must undertake production where the rights of all citizens remain intact,” he said.
Similar pledges have been taken by other producers.
The law Gov. Kemp signed in Georgia bans women from making their own health care decisions. It literally makes them criminals if they leave the state to seek the care they need. Health care decisions should be between patients and doctors. End of story.— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) May 10, 2019
While the new laws in these states have not gone into effect as of now, the approval of such bills seemingly poses a threat to the autonomy of American women over their bodies.