A Step Backward for Women’s Rights

By Fiona Bock
Copy Editor

It is easy to forget that the fight for women’s reproductive rights is ongoing when we live in the liberal bubble of California. It is an issue that may seem far from home, but is slowly gaining momentum with increasingly absurd legislation nationwide.

In the past four years, Ohio has become a testing ground for anti-abortion laws. Since 2011, Ohio governor John Kasich has approved every antiabortion measure placed in front of him, resulting in the closure of half of Ohio’s abortion clinics.

The most recent bill on the table will make it illegal for doctors to perform an abortion based on a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. As of now, it seems likely that the law will pass in the fall.

While this legislation appears to be “protecting the disabled,” its only purpose is to diminish women’s abortion rights. This is just the latest in a series of disguised attempts to take huge strides backwards for women’s rights. The guise of defending those who live with Down syndrome doesn’t take away from the truth: this law only serves to impose control over women’s bodies yet again.

If this bill passes, Ohio will become the ninth state to pass legislation policing a woman’s reason for terminating a pregnancy. These far-from-isolated incidents represent a larger effort to undermine women’s reproductive rights across the country.

The threat to defund Planned Parenthood has recently struck a nerve close to home, as Republicans make more and more forceful pushes to eliminate the nonprofit. This threatens women everywhere, and is yet another angle from which reproductive rights are being endangered.

More politicians are jumping on board with the attack on women’s rights every day. Sarah Palin is one of many Republicans who have endorsed the bill in Ohio. Pro-lifers everywhere won’t stop seeking new ways to stomp out access to reproductive healthcare until times are reminiscent of pre-Roe vs. Wade.

The struggle over abortion access should be over, but Down syndrome and Planned Parenthood are just examples of platforms that anti-abortion advocates have adopted to steadily chip away at women’s rights. No law should prevent a woman from receiving an abortion. We all need to stand up and speak out––before it is too late.