Kentucky and Arizona Pass 15-Week Abortion Ban

Abortion-rights supporters protesting in the Kentucky State Senate chamber on March 29. Image credit: Louisville Courier Journal / Debby Yetter

In yet another wave of attacks on women’s rights, state officials from Kentucky and Arizona have passed new laws against abortion rights, further weakening Roe v. Wade. These bills do not prosecute women directly, but, as with the Texas law, they allow anyone to sue doctors and abortion providers for assisting in an abortion procedure in the state after 15 weeks of pregnancy. In addition, the laws prohibit drugs being used for medical abortion (typically used to stimulate abortion up to 10 weeks of pregnancy without surgical intervention) being sent through the mail. Instead, women must receive this medication directly from a physician following an in-person examination.

These laws are brutal for poor and working women who are unable to travel out of state for a procedure or do not have either the money or time for a visit to the doctor. The laws have no special allowances for victims of sexual assault. This new legislation follows a trend of similar bans passed in Texas and Idaho that forbid abortion after 6 weeks of pregnancy.

These decisions are not being made by the women who will be most affected by them. Their interests are not even considered. Who does make these decisions? In fact, anti-abortion laws have been supported by corporations such as Walmart and Amazon, who have donated thousands of dollars to anti-abortion candidates. Faced by these attacks, we need to fight back to protect women’s rights. Women in Argentina, Colombia and Mexico have fought back and won through massive grassroots mobilizations. Their example is continuing to spread. Known as the “Green Wave” mobilizations that started in women’s living rooms, they have spread to become marches of tens of thousands in the streets. They have made mainstream the voices of working-class women who are the victims of the oppressive philosophies of the churches that wished to silence them. We, too, need our own working women’s green wave!