The ongoing debate regarding women’s reproductive health law has gained even more attention this week, as the US Supreme Court refused to revive an Arkansas law that would ban abortions after 12 weeks– thus allowing the pre-viablity standard to remain.
The Arkansas law, according to federal judges, was inconsistent with previous SCOTUS rulings that typically tie pregnancy termination rights to viability. Fetal viability, or the supposed ability of the fetus to survive outside the womb, is said to usually be reached at 22-24 weeks of pregnancy. The law was an attempt by anti-choice lawmakers to find loopholes in Constitutional rights for women’s reproductive health and to overturn the basic premise of 1973 Roe v. Wade decision– one that that legalized abortion until viability while allowing states to regulate and restrict the procedure post-viability.
The Supreme Court is set to review two other reproductive health-related laws in the coming months. This week’s move lends support to the notion that the right to choose is settled law and recognized that decisions about a woman’s pregnancy should be made by herself, her family and her medical practitioner– not by the government.
We look to activists on all sides of this issue to join us in focusing on real solutions that prevent unintended pregnancy in the first place. With greater access to information, education and contraception, we can achieve the mutually desired goal of wanted and healthy pregnancies as well as reducing the rate of abortions.