You’ve likely been seeing a lot of news about the recent abortion legislation passed in Alabama and Missouri. Alabama is now the first state to institute a full ban on abortion, eliminating all exceptions, even in the case of rape or incest.
Missouri is the fifth state this year to pass a so-called “heartbeat bill.” These laws restrict abortion after six to eight weeks of conception (the time at which doctors can typically pick up a heartbeat from the fetus). While these laws aren’t technically bans, most experts consider them as such, since many women don’t even discover that they’re pregnant until they’re further than six weeks along in their pregnancy.
Most pro-choice advocates have been upset by this news, but for those who aren’t well-versed in the abortion debate, they may be wondering why these laws have become such a flashpoint in this ongoing back-and-forth between the pro-life and pro-choice camps. Here’s why these state laws are a big deal on a national scale.