How To Fight Mississippi's "Heartbeat" Abortion Law & Support Reproductive Rights
On Thursday, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed into law one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the United States. The state's "heartbeat law" bans most abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which is typically about six weeks into pregnancy. Many pro-choice advocates are outraged by the law and if you feel similarly, here's how to fight Mississippi's abortion law.
Mississippi is the latest in a string of states to consider bills outlawing abortions once a heartbeat can be detected at six weeks. Those opposed to such measures have pointed out that many women aren't even aware that they are pregnant at six weeks, so these laws completely take away any semblance of choice, as the BBC reported.
Speaking to reporters outside of a bill signing ceremony at the State Capitol, Gov. Byrant told reporters that he isn't concerned about the numerous lawsuits that will likely follow his action. "They don't have to sue us. It's up to them," he said, according to NBC News. "If they do not believe in the sanctity of life, these that are in organizations like Planned Parenthood, we will have to fight that fight. But it is worth it."
In a statement opposing the heartbeat law, NARAL stated that the majority of Mississippi voters, and Americans in general, are opposed to this sort of law. "Seven in 10 Americans support access to legal abortion, and in 2011 Mississippi voters explicitly rejected a constitutional amendment that would have put the rights of a fetus above the rights of pregnant women," NARAL said in a statement said. "This latest move by the Mississippi legislature and Governor Bryant shows just how out-of-touch anti-choice politicians are with their voters and the real issues facing Mississippi families."
If you are looking to fight back against the growing trend to outlaw abortion as early as six weeks, here are a few ways you can voice your opinion.
Contact Your Representatives
In its statement about the "heartbeat law," NARAL explained that Mississippi is far from the only state looking to outlaw abortion:
With a wave of states all considering similar extreme bills attempting to ban abortion before a woman even knows she’s pregnant, Mississippi is making it clear how far the anti-choice movement is willing to go to erode women’s basic rights.
By voicing your concerns to your own representatives, you can help to stop your state from passing such extreme abortion measures.
Your voice does matter. According to HuffPost, a federal judge blocked a similar abortion law in Kentucky just last week, and an Iowa judge overturned its heartbeat abortion law back in January, citing the state’s constitution.
Support The Center For Reproductive Rights
Donate To The Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund
According to its official website, the Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund — a part of the National Network of Abortion Funds — provides funding for "abortion, Plan B, transportation, lodging, child care and travel for all residents of Mississippi, regardless of where they seek abortion care, and anyone who has an abortion in Mississippi."
This organization is taking up donations to fund abortions in the state. Your money could further that fund.
Educate Others About The Facts
Regardless of which side of the argument you fall on when it comes to abortion rights, I think everyone can agree that it is an emotional topic. And when passion comes into play, it can be difficult to discuss the issues logically. In order to educate others about the facts — as opposed to just shouting your opinion — being prepared is always helpful.
Fortunately, the International Planned Parenthood Foundation has a handy PDF of the facts designed specifically to aid you in your peer education. Using facts and figures to argue your point along with the emotion behind it will make your argument more compelling.
No matter how you choose to voice your opinion, voice it loud. Even if you don't feel compelled to donate money, simply expressing your beliefs on social media or in person is a powerful way of promoting important conversations.