SC State House azaleas

South Carolina State House

With their recent legislation to dramatically restrict abortion, Alabama and Missouri have slid back into the bowels of antiquity. Under these laws, women who live in these states can be raped and forced to carry a fetus, moving and swelling in their wombs, for nine months against their will. America and its Constitution herald human rights, you say? Nations like China don’t, you say? Well, China doesn’t have anything on the Alabama and Missouri governments. These states now own and control the uteruses of approximately 5.6 million women collectively.

This is why I care. I am a member of NOW, the National Organization for Women. NOW is the largest grassroots feminist organization in America. I help to champion the rights of women in our great country. I am also a proud South Carolinian. However, our South Carolina lawmakers have dulled my pride by passing Bill H3020 in the S.C. House. This bill, known as the Fetal Heartbeat Protection From Abortion Act, hands over a newly pregnant woman’s reproductive rights to the State of South Carolina at the detection of a fetal heartbeat, which is around six weeks. This is a window of time when most women don’t even know they are pregnant.

H3020 is something straight out of a dystopian sci-fi novel. It seeks to seize the womb; and bills like these are a part of the small beginnings, the seedlings, of a police state. You don’t own another person’s body no matter who you are. The type of people who think it’s okay to control another person’s body are the same type of people who thought it was okay to steal Africans from their country and bring them to America as slaves. Did they not detect the heartbeat of the African slave? Was that all it would have taken to protect those human lives? This group of predominately male South Carolina lawmakers are not really speaking for women. They are not protecting unborn babies. They are really protecting their 400-plus year-old sense of superiority and entitlement to control everything and everyone who is not the same class, race or sex as them.

Feeling like hijacking someone’s womb? You need to think again, because my fellow activists are going to fight this as far as it goes. Also please remember, whether you are male or female, you don’t have to be an activist to go online to scstatehouse.gov and write an email to your representatives supporting women’s reproductive rights. While you’re there, tell them to take their roaming hands off of pregnant women’s bellies. Some things, after all, are personal.

Timeka Abney

Columbia

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