The United States is taking another step backwards when it comes to abortion. On Thursday, April 28, Oklahoma approved a law that reduces to six weeks the legal deadline for an abortion.
However, the right to abortion was recognized by the United States Supreme Court in 1973 by the stop “Roe vs. Wade”. The right to abortion is therefore recognized at the federal level until 23 weeks pregnant (14 in France). However, more and more States limit or prohibit the right to abortion, especially since the arrival at the Supreme Court of Brett Kavanaugh, tilting the highest American court to the right, “pro life”.
Since then, states wishing to revoke this right have managed to circumvent the “Roe vs. Wade” ruling. This is the case of Oklahoma this year, but also from Alabama, Arkansas or Texas. In these states, the conditions for abortion are so restricted that it is almost impossible to respect them. Abortions are thus mostly considered murder and are liable to heavy prison sentences, even the death penalty for women and doctors.
If these states have succeeded in circumventing the Supreme Court, it is because of the idea, shared by the majority of its judges, that an unborn child has the same rights as a born person, sometimes including during first trimester of pregnancy. This idea was brought forward in March 2018 by a bill named “House Bill 565”aiming to broaden the notion of “person” to “every unborn human”.
However, not all US states are equally restrictive. Some even go further than federal law by increasing the freedoms of people wishing to perform a Voluntary Termination of Pregnancy. This is particularly the case of alaska which since 2016 has authorized minors to have an abortion without the need for the consent of their parents.