This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at: john.weeks@sdsu.edu

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Oh No! Yet Another Attack on Reproductive Rights

The front page headline in today's New York Times was this: "Arkansas Adopts a Ban on Abortions After 12 Weeks."
Arkansas adopted what is by far the country’s most restrictive ban on abortion on Wednesday — at 12 weeks of pregnancy, when a fetal heartbeat can typically be detected by abdominal ultrasound.
The law, the sharpest challenge yet to Roe v. Wade, was passed by the newly Republican-controlled legislature over the veto of Gov. Mike Beebe, a Democrat, who called it “blatantly unconstitutional.” The State Senate voted Tuesday to override his veto and the House followed suit on Wednesday, with several Democrats joining the Republican majority.
The law contradicts the limit established by Supreme Court decisions, which give women a right to an abortion until the fetus is viable outside the womb, usually around 24 weeks into pregnancy, and abortion rights groups promised a quick lawsuit to block it. Even some anti-abortion leaders called the measure a futile gesture.
This is, unfortunately, a sad reflection of the truly mean-spirited attitude of the far right in this country. More specifically, this legislation (which will hopefully be overturned in short order) is what I think of as a "Taliban" mentality, because a largely male legislature (75 percent male in the two houses combined) is passing judgement on the reproductive rights of women. Although there were some women in support of this legislation, I can guarantee you that if men were at risk of getting pregnant, the conversation would be very different.

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