The Ban on Abortion Becomes Stress Test for American Society


Americans like to repeat that the USA is the country of the most complete personal freedoms for citizens. It is this deeply liberal principle that underlies many of the actions of the leadership of this country for a little more than a couple of centuries of its existence - actions that are often completely incompatible with the concepts of honor, conscience and humanity.

However, society in the United States is heterogeneous. In addition to the elite, it is represented by both the poorest black people and the conditional middle class. And besides, it is replete with various forms of manifestation of personal freedoms, minorities of all stripes - from staunch feminists to same-sex families and representatives of all kinds of subcultures.

The political elite is represented by only two parties - the Republican and the Democratic. The rest of the political forces will hardly ever be destined to raise their heads. Therefore, the overwhelming majority of loud laws or decisions almost immediately become the reason for the confrontation between the two main camps. Suffice it to recall Obamacare — the health care reform that Barack Obama began, the Democratic president. And that was abolished by the Republican administration of Donald Trump.

The ban on abortion is one of the extremely sensitive issues for the freedom-loving American society. Conservative circles have made the adoption of acts of restriction of abortion in Ohio, Mississippi and Kentucky, but it was in Georgia that the law was the most serious. And it was he who revealed the moral abscess in a society that has been matured for a long time.

The fourth state

On May 7, the governor of the state of Georgia, Republican Brian Kemp, despite the pressure, signed the “heartbeat” law. It provides for a ban on abortion at six weeks, when the doctor can first distinguish the heartbeat of a child. This law was the toughest among similar in the other three states, because it actually means a total ban on abortion.

Despite the fact that Georgia is the fourth state to adopt a law banning abortion, so far none of these documents work. The fact is that opponents manage to challenge every such document in federal courts or even in the US Supreme Court every time. To date, the laws of "heartbeat", that is, the strict limitation of termination of pregnancy to early terms, have become a kind of a passing flag for opponents of abortion. Therefore, the signature of the Governor of Georgia is a serious step forward.

The first bill of this kind was introduced in Ohio in 2011 at the insistence of a group called Faith2Action, which on its website calls itself the movement for family and family values.

Although the draft regulation was not signed, it inspired legislators to combat abortion throughout the country. Since then, dozens of similar bills have been introduced. The first state to succeed in adopting the heartbeat bill was in 2013 North Dakota. However, the document was immediately challenged in federal courts, where it was rejected at the level of appeals, and then was fully appealed to the US Supreme Court, which refused to hear the case and simply supported the decision of the lower court.

A similar law in 2013 passed the state of Arkansas, although the requirements were not so strict and contained a ban on abortion not after six, but after 12 weeks. This bill was also rejected and passed through the courts, and again the US Supreme Court refused to hear the case.

In May 2018, the Heartbeat Act passed the state of Iowa, but the document was again challenged in the courts. The fate of the 2019 laws in Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and Ohio will also be decided in the courts. If the opponents of abortion win, the laws will come into force on January 1, 2020.

Main argument

In 1973, the US Supreme Court officially legalized abortions. This decision was the result of a high-profile trial of Roe v. Wade, where abortion advocates were able to justify the term “viability”, which occurs between the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy. The Supreme Court agreed that the child was not viable until that time.

Proponents of abortion since then increasingly declare the sixth week heartbeat laws unconstitutional in different states, and the courts are taking their side. In general, the impression of a wall that does not break through.

Hollywood announces boycott

Indeed, the laws of "heartbeat" are harsh. In Georgia, an indulgence was allowed, allowing an abortion for a period of later than six weeks, only if the woman became a victim of violence and went to the police, as well as if there is a threat to the life of the mother. It was the severity of the law that led many Hollywood celebrities, politicians and officials to oppose it.

Georgia is a very popular state among American filmmakers, which in 2017 became the leader in the number of film industry projects implemented on its territory. According to the Department of Economics of Georgia, which leads the Wall Street Journal, in the 2018 fiscal year, the production of films and television programs brought the state $ 9.5 billion. In Georgia, for example, most of the blockbuster Avengers: Finals scenes, episodes for Marvel character films and many other popular projects were filmed.

One of the main activists of the MeToo movement in the United States, actress Alyssa Milano, sharply condemned the bill and threatened to boycott the shooting of the TV series “Insatiable”, which are being held in Georgia. She drafted a petition; more than 50 well-known actors signed it, including Christina Applegate and Alec Baldwin. The petition says that if Georgia adopts a heartbeat law, it will make the state an inhospitable place where it will be difficult to work. In her Twitter, Milano stated that she was upholding the right of women to “bodily freedom”, since under such harsh laws they “cannot risk pregnancy” if they “do not have legal control over their bodies”. Three film companies joined the boycott - Blown Deadline, Killer Films and Duplass Brothers Productions.

Meanwhile, the newspaper The Washington Post, which many accuse of inclination towards republican conservative views, gives a different picture of what is happening. She writes that companies that barely work in Georgia have declared a boycott. Besides, not the largest.

That is, the CNN channel, which openly works for Democrats, is aggravating the situation, while publications close to the Republicans, on the contrary, are trying to put out the fire of this conflict in American society. It is also worth recalling that the governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, is a Republican, like a number of his colleagues in other states. So the topic of abortion becomes political.

Only politics

The main Republican of the USA is, of course, Donald Trump. As soon as the head of state occupied the Oval Office in 2016, he immediately signed a whole heap of decrees. One of them restored the ban on the allocation of federal money to foreign companies that conduct abortions in the United States. Trump has repeatedly stated that he is fighting for the birth rate in the country. The democrats, of course, immediately accused the American president of violating the freedoms of citizens and violating the constitution. However, in the republican states, there is growing support for “heartbeat” laws.

Another important fact is that the heartbeat laws can be approved by the Supreme Court. In the fall of 2018, Trump appointed Brett Cavanaugh, who is known for his conservative views, as a judge of the Supreme Court.

Thus, the topic of abortion in the United States has already gone beyond the debate of activists and is becoming a political war. But the most important thing is that a child at the age of six weeks is a living person whose heart beats, which has been proven by doctors. It’s very easy to stop this heart, but it’s impossible to make it beat again.

Arguments about "bodily freedom" only confuse the situation. Because on one side of the scale is the notorious freedom of the individual, and on the other - human life. A society that considers the former to be more important than the latter is doomed to gradual extinction, accompanied by the abandonment of traditional family values ​​and the degradation of that very “free” person.