What Grinds My Gears

Story by: Ian Carson, Editor in Chief

Mike Pence recently signed a law that severely restricts the right of women to obtain an abortion, as established by the Roe v. Wade supreme court case. Under the guise of protecting women, the bill prohibits abortions due to the fact that the baby will, or might, have “any disability.” In addition, the bill prohibits abortions due to ancestry, a thinly-veiled attempt at prohibiting abortion due to incest.

The bill purports to protect from discrimination, preventing women from having an abortion due to a fetus’s sex or race, but this is nothing more than a cover-up of a bill whose primary purpose is to restrict women’s rights.

The fact of the matter is, a woman should not be required legally to provide a reason for her abortion. She should not have to register with the government a pre-approved reason for abortion. This is an invasion of privacy and, as I see it, a violation of the Fourth Amendment’s guarantee of a reasonable expectation of privacy in one’s person and effects.

No woman would seek an abortion out of pleasure. It is not an easy decision made out of some sadistic joy of destroying a potential child, it is one of deep consideration and emotional turmoil. The decision to obtain an abortion is a private concern, and the government has no right to invade this domain of intimacy.

In addition, the bill puts a financial burden on women. Under the bill, women must pay for funeral and cremation services if she is the victim of a miscarriage. It has been tradition for the hospital to cover the cost of a miscarriage, but this bill somehow charges women responsible for the miscarriage.

Opponents may say that harsher restrictions on abortion protect women from complications during abortion. However, the data of such procedures discount any reason for concern. According to the Center for Disease Control, legally obtained abortions have a mortality rate of 0.0007%. The mortality rate for colonoscopy-specific deaths, according to the CDC, is 0.007%. Compared to the mortality rate for colonoscopies, which is a recommended procedure for many adults, legally-obtained abortions are ten times less deadly.

The right to an abortion was guaranteed in Roe v. Wade. Also under this case, women are not required to list a reason for obtaining an abortion, calling into question the constitutionality of the law passed. Planned Parenthood v. Casey granted the right of the states to place certain restrictions that do not pose an “undue burden” on women seeking abortions.

It is my belief that this bill places an undue burden on women and invades their right to privacy as guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment.