Last month was the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the supreme-court decision that gave American women access to the safe abortions. For the past 38 years, abortion has been legal, at least on paper. Being 25, I can’t imagine a United States of America where abortion is illegal; nor I can imagine a United States where the abortion isn’t a highly controversial topic impolite for dinner conversation but appropriate for graphic posters outside medical clinics.
But while abortion is legal, little by little, access to abortion has been restricted over the past 38 years. States have made abortions after 20 weeks illegal, they have made it financially challenging for clinics to receive funding or they have put mandatory wait times between consultations and abortion procedures.
Illinois is no exception. This month the Agriculture Committee of the house will bring a bill HB1919 to the floor. The bill will require abortion providers to show patients an ultrasound of the fetus before an abortion is performed. The bill will then require patients to wait one hour before the procedure can be performed. It is obvious that this bill has no medical relevance. An ultrasound is not necessary for an abortion nor is forcing a woman to wait an hour is a paper gown before receiving a procedure she and her doctor has decided is necessary. This bill will put an extra burden on abortion clinics who already have more demand than time available.
For today’s young American women, who may have had an abortion or who may need an abortion in the future, an America doesn’t exist where abortion isn’t illegal. Yet every year politicians chip away a little at what constitutes legal. And quite frankly, it just isn’t their decision. We may not know a world without abortion but we know we want to keep access to abortion available for ourselves, our friends and for future generations. On Tuesday March 15th there will be a Rally for Choice in Springfield. Take the day to voice your opinion and to tell the state legislation that women’s choice does not belong on the Ag Committee’s agenda. Register here on the ACLU website.