Since the election of Donald Trump to the White House, women’s rights have been withdrawn in certain states. After the new government’s attack on the security of migrants living in the US, the government also seems to want to withdraw rights from women as regards what they do with their bodies.
This time, it is women in Arkansas who are directly affected by a new law, which limits their rights over what happens to their bodies. This new law requires women who want an abortion to obtain permission from the father of the foetus. It is part of the Arkansas Final Disposition Rights Act 2009, a collection of laws that sets out how a family needs to agree on what happens to the body of a deceased family member.
In other words, the law now clearly considers that the foetus is a member of the family, and also considers it a deceased person. This new addition to the law means that a woman who becomes pregnant following a rape should consult her rapist before she has an abortion. This law applies to women over 18 years old. That said, girls under 18 also need permission: from their parents.
The United States seems to be taking an enormous backward step, reversing decades of progress. This law, voted in in March, was enacted in July this year. Arkansas, known for being a very conservative state, is not the only state to have taken a backward step in terms of abortion: in Texas and Ohio, it is becoming more and more difficult for women to access real healthcare, and to access establishments that offer abortions.