'I don't feel safe': Alabama newspapers publish letters by women on abortion ban




 

Three major Alabama newspapers devoted their Sunday editions to letters from women across the state, offering an expansive look into the reactions after a nearly all-male state legislature passed the nation's strictest abortion ban last week.

The Alabama Media Group, which operates the Birmingham News, the Huntsville Times and the Mobile Press-Register, filled their Sunday papers with 200 essays from Alabama women of various backgrounds, ages and political leanings. The essays were also available as a package online under the title "It's time to hear Alabama's women".

Though the state was "the talk of the nation last week", wrote Alabama Media Group's vice-president, Kelly Ann Scott, in an introduction to the series, "missing from many of those conversations were the voices of women from this state".

Scott continued that in less than 24 hours, more than 200 Alabama women wrote in with their perspectives.

"They are women who live here, and some who have left," she said. "Those who have prayed for this very law, and those who now live in fear. Mothers, trying to understand the message this law sends to their daughters and sons. And women who are angry that a majority of men in the state legislature spoke for them."

All 25 Alabama senate votes in favor of the ban, which criminalizes almost all abortions with no exceptions for rape or incest, came from white men (the four women of the state senate voted against). Alabama's female governor, Kay Ivey, signed the bill into law Wednesday night. Several groups, including the ACLU and Planned Parenthood, have promised to sue, probably tying up the law in court for months.

The essays illustrate a range of feeling and frustration over the law's passage. Some women expressed anger at what they called the hypocrisy of the legislature's "pro-life" position. "If they really believed every life was precious, they wouldn't have allowed Alabamians to die at an alarming rate from accidents, childbirth and preventable medical conditions," wrote Tabitha Isner, who is running for chair of the Alabama Democratic party.

"This abortion ban puts myself, my friends and future generations in danger. Not to mention any victims of sexual assault or rape," said Isabel Hope, a teenager in Tuscaloosa. "I don't feel safe walking alone ever. How am I supposed to feel knowing that if something were to happen, I would have no options?"

Others grappled with their personal beliefs and the implications of the ban, which will disproportionately impact low-income and black women. "I am pro-life, yet I still find it problematic to legally force my personal views upon others, particularly when I know economic disenfranchisement and systemic racism await too many black children once they are born," wrote Idrissa Snider. "These issues plague the quality of life for black children every day in our state.

One woman, Rachel Hauser, wrote that the ban's passage compelled her to share the story of her sexual assault for the first time. "If I had become pregnant from that incident, I would have had an abortion," she said, noting that she was "thankful" to have the option of emergency contraception at the time.

In her introduction, Scott said the Alabama Media Group was restricting online comments on the essays to keep their voices "heard instead of debated".

"No one should ignore their voices," she said.


COMMENTS

More Related News

CDC director praises Alabama HIV clinic ahead of campaign
CDC director praises Alabama HIV clinic ahead of campaign

As the federal government prepares to launch an ambitious initiative to end the HIV epidemic, the director of the Centers for Disease Control on Friday applauded an Alabama HIV clinic's commitment to providing health services to rural communities. Director Robert Redfield met with state public health officials and toured the Medical Advocacy & Outreach clinic in Montgomery to begin laying the groundwork for the decade-long federal campaign.

U.S. court rules against Trump administration in immigrant teen abortion case
U.S. court rules against Trump administration in immigrant teen abortion case
  • US
  • 2019-06-14 17:06:57Z

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld a lower court decision that found the government cannot unduly burden the ability of a woman to obtain an abortion under established Supreme Court precedent. The case involves the intersection of two divisive social issues on which Republican President Donald Trump has taken a hard line: abortion and immigration.

Democratic Rep. Norma Torres goes after 'sex-starved males' during heated abortion debate
Democratic Rep. Norma Torres goes after 'sex-starved males' during heated abortion debate

Rep. Norma Torres said on the House floor: "It is tiring to hear from so many sex-starved males on this floor talk about a woman's right to choose."

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Latin America

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.