Abortion is one of the most controversial topics in the United States. Roe v. Wade (1973) made it possible for women to legally abort their pregnancies for any reason as long as the fetus is not viable.
Rep. Charles Van Zant has made it known that he is anti-abortion and has challenged the Roe v. Wade decision with the “Florida for Life Act,” a bill filed Feb. 17, 2010.
The bill would prohibit all induced abortions and facilities that perform abortions.
Women are beginning to speak out against the bill that prohibits them for making the decision of aborting their pregnancy. Stephanie Kunkel, a lobbyist representing the Sarasota-based Florida Association of Planned Parenthood Affiliates is outraged that the bill is even being given time on the on the senate floor. “We know this is nothing more than an attempt by the Legislature to play politics with women’s health,” said Kunkel in a Feb. 25th article in the Ocala Star-Banner.
Van Zant quoted the Declaration of Independence, according to the Tallahassee Democrat, saying, “people are ‘endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, and that the first among these rights is the right to life.'”
Justifying the right of an unborn fetus to life the bill proposes to protect that right. This bill has no committee tied to it, and is going to have a difficult time in the process of being passed because of how controversial abortion is. Roe v. Wade was a monumental decision that granted women the right to decide whether or not to carry a pregnancy to term outside of extremely harsh conditions such as rape, or incest. Overturning that decision is going to be extremely difficult for women who are carrying children under the aforementioned conditions to get an abortion.
The Guttmacher Institute, an entity of the World Health Organization, conducted a study showing that in the United States, “nearly half of pregnancies among American women are unintended and four in ten of these are terminated by abortion. Twenty-two percent of all pregnancies (excluding miscarriages) end in abortion.”
The statistics show that women are utilizing their constitutional rights. If the decision were to be overturned because of Van Zant’s proposed bill it would contradict a decision that the Supreme Court has put in place for more than 36 years. With little chance of being passed Van Zant’s “Florida for Life Act,” could be looking at another failed attempt to overturn women’s right to choose.