Results tagged “Arkansas” from Blog for Choice
When it comes to comprehensive sex education, anti-choice politicians - the same ones who want to ban access to safe abortion care - are fighting to block teens from receiving objective and complete information.
This year, anti-choice lawmakers are moving several anti-sex-education measures.
Politicians introduced measures to block groups that provide abortion, including Planned Parenthood, from teaching sex education in schools in Arkansas and North Dakota. And legislators are still considering similar language in Texas.
In Ohio, politicians tried to insert an amendment to the state budget bill that would effectively ban comprehensive sex education from schools and fine teachers thousands of dollars for endorsing "gateway sexual activity." Gateway sexual activity?
It's hard to believe the utter hypocrisy of these anti-choice politicians. They rail against abortion care, but want to withhold important information that young people need to learn how to prevent unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease. The alternative that our opponents are peddling is, in short, dangerous.
In West Virginia, student Katelyn Campbell became suspicious when an "abstinence-only" assembly was scheduled at her high school. Katelyn educated herself about the speaker, and not only decided not to attend, but also to alert the local papers.
The principal at Katelyn's school threatened to call her future college and tell them that Katelyn is a "backstabber" with "bad character" for leading the charge against the assembly. Katelyn has since helped raise awareness about the many problems with "abstinence-only" programs in high schools today.
We know that the best way to reduce unintended pregnancy, and therefore the need for abortion, is to educate our young people on how to practice responsible, safe sex with accurate and comprehensive information - something anti-choice politicians and activists refuse to accept.
That's the decision women will be forced to make if anti-choice groups are successful in their goal to ban abortion regardless of a woman's personal situation or heartbreaking circumstance.
Anti-choice organizations across the country spend countless efforts and resources fighting for policies that would ban abortion without exceptions for rape, incest, and a woman's health and safety. And if they're successful, any woman could be forced to choose between her life and her freedom.
Policies that ban abortion care with no exceptions endanger women's lives and force them to make impossible decisions at the hands of extreme anti-choice politicians.
In El Salvador, where abortion is illegal in all cases, one woman will be forced to choose between life-saving abortion care and time in prison.
According to Salon:
"The 22-year-old mother of one, identified only as Beatriz, is four-and-a-half months pregnant, but her doctors have confirmed that the fetus has anencephaly (developing without a brain and certain parts of the skull) and that the pregnancy [may face a tragic outcome]. In addition to the diagnosis [of a fetal anomaly], Beatriz is experiencing critical health complications related to her lupus and kidney disease."
The hospital treating Beatriz has requested that the government grant permission for life-saving abortion care, but so far, no permission has been granted.
That's why it's so important to make sure all women have access to safe, legal reproductive-health care and abortion services. Our lives may depend on it.
Thankfully, for every anti-choice opponent there is a choice champion who steps up to protect and expand reproductive freedom. That leads us to this month's Hall of Fame and Shame.
This month we were floored by Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe's (D) courage.
He stood up to anti-choice politicians in the Arkansas state legislature and vetoed not one, but two extreme abortion bans. In delivering his veto, Gov. Beebe pointed out that these bans are clearly unconstitutional under Roe v. Wade, and defending the laws in court would be incredibly expensive for a state that's already struggling financially.
Unfortunately, the state legislature overrode his vetos anyway, and now the state will likely be forced to dip into already limited funds to defend these restrictive abortion bans. That means less money for health care, public safety, and education.
Arkansas isn't the only state to enact abortion bans this month, which brings us to our "Hall of Shame:"
The North Dakota state legislature won the race to the bottom when it approved anti-choice legislation that would ban abortion as early as six weeks - before many women even know they are pregnant.
What's worse, Gov. Jack Dalrymple (R) ignored the calls of many in his state and signed the abortion ban into law, earning North Dakota the dubious distinction of having the worst abortion ban in the country.
North Dakota anti-choice politicians could use a lesson in representing the needs of women in the state instead of attacking their fundamental right to reproductive freedom.
There were plenty of inspiring choice champions and anti-choice opponents who could've earned a spot in our Hall of Fame and Shame. Keep an eye out for them as we look for next month's winners.
For now, Arkansas holds the title as the state with the earliest abortion ban. But that could change very soon.
North Dakota is poised to adopt an extreme law which would ban abortion even earlier - at six weeks!
The North Dakota state legislature has mounted numerous anti-choice attacks on women's reproductive freedoms before, but this so called "heartbeat" ban is the worst.
This legislation would ban abortion before most women even know they're pregnant, with no exceptions for rape or incest. It would effectively make abortion illegal in the state of North Dakota.
Lawmakers in North Dakota passed this anti-choice bill along with divisive legislation that criminalizes doctors for the reasons women seek abortion care. Both bills are on their way to Gov. Jack Dalrymple's (R) desk.
But that's not the end of the story.
Anti-choice politicians in the state are also pushing a "personhood" ballot initiative, a 20-week abortion ban, and - in case they hadn't driven the point home already - a TRAP bill aimed at closing the last remaining abortion provider in the state.
We cannot go back to the days before Roe v. Wade, when abortion was illegal. Because when abortion is illegal, women are forced to seek unsafe abortion care that could have devastating effects.
We hope that Gov. Dalrymple will think long and hard about what these bills would mean for the reproductive health and well being of women in North Dakota before he signs this outrageous package of bills into law.
It's time for these anti-choice politicians to stop attacking choice, and start trusting women.