WORD says: Overturn Arkansas’ Human Heartbeat Protection Act now!

Arkansas Senate Bill 134, the Human Heartbeat Protection Act, is a heinous attack on the rights of women. This draconian bill, authorized in the Arkansas legislature on March 6 and set to go into effect in the summer of 2013, would ban abortion for women in Arkansas after only 12 weeks of pregnancy. This is in direct contradiction to multiple Supreme Court decisions, which have upheld our right to abortion prior to the point when the fetus is viable. The language of this bill seeks to elevate the rights of a fetus—that’s still in the first trimester!—over the rights of living, breathing, walking, talking women. We must fight to strike down this law.

Asserting our right to abortion is asserting our humanity; women can never be truly equal in a society without abortion rights. We are the only ones who should be allowed to decide what happens to our bodies and when, if or how we start a family. We must be able to work, to go to school, to live for ourselves, just as any man can. Denial of our reproductive freedom is a way to dominate and control women. It is part of a patriarchal system that dictates that our bodies are not our own.

We will not go back into the dark ages of back-alley abortions. We won the right to safe, legal abortion 40 years ago, and we will fight to keep it. The last few years have seen a record number of restrictions on abortion introduced in state and local governments. We are in very real danger of losing the rights that we have won. It was a militant, organized and determined women’s movement that made Roe a reality 40 years ago. Let’s learn from our foremothers and build that kind of movement once again.