This essay is hypothetical, but the possibilities it presents could become reality if we don’t take care. What would happen if anti-abortion advocates had their way and abortion was illegal everywhere?
Roe v Wade was overturned, and abortion regulations in the US are now going to be determined at the state level. Before its overturning, Roe v Wade asserted that the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution provides a fundamental right to privacy, which protects a woman’s right to have an abortion. This landmark ruling was made moot by Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organisation, which asserted that the right to an abortion isn’t deeply rooted in US history or tradition.
Many states are going the way of anti-abortion, with Wisconsin returning to an 1848 abortion ban. 1848! As many as 26 states could outlaw abortion. That’s more than half the U.S. Regardless of how she got pregnant, a woman may find herself unable to have an abortion.
If something being illegal meant people stopped doing it, prisons wouldn’t exist. One of the immediate effects of a thing becoming against the law is that it becomes a lucrative commodity. You can only get it if you know the right people and have the money necessary to facilitate it. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the black market.
Many anti-abortion advocates claim that such laws are necessary to protect maternal life. If the laws of the state really wanted to protect maternal life, they would allow for easy access to abortion and abortion care. Like I said before, the illegality of an action doesn’t necessarily translate to the ceasing of said activity. Women would still try to get abortions. A majority of these abortions would be unsafe because everyone – everyone being doctors performing abortions on the black market – would just be trying to cash out. Women would also ingest all sorts of weird shit to induce abortions. The concoctions and pills that would spring out of nowhere claiming to help women lose their pregnancies would be overwhelming.
If abortion isn’t done right, the mother can lose her life. Banning abortion to protect maternal life is counterproductive. If I want to get an abortion and the laws in my geographic region do not allow it, I have two options; travel to a place where abortions are legal or have it done in my country, on the black market. Both options aren’t quite conducive because why do I have to go through the stress of travelling to lose a pregnancy? The more you wait, the riskier it is to get an abortion. Most women may not even know they are pregnant until after the sixth week. If a person isn’t very well-to-do, they would now have to look for funds to facilitate their travel. Las las, it may be too late to have the abortion by the time she has raised enough money.
In the worst-case scenario, more women are going to die. In slightly less bad instances, the woman may lose her ability to have more children. Thus, in the long run, needless abortion restrictions are going to be facilitating the very events they claim to try to prevent.
Another effect of abortion being illegal everywhere is that we are definitely going to need more prisons. People are committing all manner of crimes every day and getting thrown in jail. Making abortion criminal means a lot of women are going to jail, together with their partners if they “aided and abetted.” This means a gradual but steady reduction in the workforce of a nation.
Also, think of how birth control usage is going to spike to abnormally high levels. I mean, women are still going to want to have sex, they just won’t want to have babies. Birth control has its side effects, and we’re going to see them more than ever. Besides, the spike would translate into not-so-authentic products flooding the market. Remember how there was a time Postinor-2 had to be taken off the market because there were unsafe imitations? That, but on a larger scale.
For women who don’t like birth control, banning abortion could mean a decrease in their sex drives. I mean, I want to have sex but I don’t want to have babies. I also don’t want to take birth control. The lesser of these evils would be to have less sex. Now, even with women wilfully having sex, rape is still a menace we deal with. Now, fewer women are wanting to have sex. What do you think that means for unscrupulous men who don’t think with the right head? They’d take what they want, by force. Marital rape is going to be off the charts. Since the laws against marital rape are virtually non-existent, married men who do it would get away with it.
Women who find themselves in such relationships may be forced to stay with their abusive husbands if they get pregnant. There is security, no matter how little, in being with a steady partner. A woman who realises that on her own she cannot properly take care of her child, would stay with the man who’s tormenting her so that her child can have a better quality of life.
Talking about quality of life, have you considered the number of children that are going to be roaming the streets? Some people have abortions because pregnancies are unplanned and they realise that they can’t adequately provide for their babies. Babies would be abandoned unnecessarily. What happens when there is a rise in the number of street kids in a given geographical area? Crime increases, of course. These children would still have to fend for themselves, and not all of them are going to do this via legitimate means. People with degrees have problems getting employed, how much more Kweku, who grew up on the street with no skills but a quick brain and quicker fingers.
I have seen some of these pro-life activists asking women who want abortions to bring their babies and they would take care of them. That’s hypocrisy, pure and unveiled. There are so many children in foster care, so many kids already in the world who lack love, care and support. What is stopping them from turning their efforts to these children? It’s the children that aren’t even yet children that they want to claim they would support? Modern-day Pharisees, the lot of them.
Some people believe life starts at conception. The second a sperm fuses with an egg, we have a human being. Thus abortion, no matter how early on in a pregnancy, is murder. I think this is a rather silly stance to take, especially if the abortion is had before quickening; which is when the mother starts to feel the baby move in her stomach. This usually occurs between the fourth and sixth months of pregnancy. A baby begins to feel pain at 18 weeks, which is about four and a half months into a regular-term pregnancy. I think that once a thing doesn’t feel pain, it is not alive. The baby has the potential to be a human at this point, yes. I don’t dispute that. However, something having potential means that it is not yet what you expect it to be but can become so if you give it time. So, the foetus isn’t a human being. Murder hasn’t occurred.
Some women get pregnant because they were raped. When this whole abortion brouhaha started on Twitter, a man shared a story of how in Ohio, a girl who’d been raped had been denied an abortion. She was told that God had a plan and she should see this as an opportunity. The girl in question is ten years old. This is a child who isn’t even done being a child! How, in the name of the God you are invoking, is this child supposed to take care of another child? Is her body even capable of carrying a baby to term without complications? And how about her emotional and psychological wellbeing? Do you think she isn’t going to resent the child who robbed her of her childhood?
Consider also, that fewer abortions mean faster population growth rates. According to the UN, global population growth rates are projected to hit 8.5 billion by 2030, 9.7 billion by 2050, and a whopping 11 billion by 2100. That’s insane, bruh. At this rate, we’re going to need three earths to house us all.
Increased population means increased pressure on social amenities. It also means diseases would spread quickly. If you want a point of reference, just research how badly India was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Need I say more?
If authorities want to stop abortions, they should tackle them at the source, which is men. A woman can usually only get pregnant once a year. If a man had unprotected sex with twenty women in one day, he could get all of them pregnant. I don’t see how in this equation, the woman is the problem. There are a few ways to ensure men don’t get women pregnant when they have sex. This is the conversation we should be having. Fewer men getting women pregnant means fewer women wanting abortions.
If even a fraction of all the resources, time and energy expended in teaching women how to live in their own bodies and what to do with them, was invested in seeking reliable ways of birth control in men, won’t there be less need for abortion? Somehow though, we don’t see this. It’s Yaa Mansa who got raped and wants to get an abortion that is the devil. Smh.
May the God many people use as an excuse for this nonsense grant them sense. Amen.