Alabama, Georgia, Missouri, and several other state legislatures recently passed “heartbeat bills” prohibiting abortion after a fetal heartbeat becomes detectable. Furthermore, It’s actually up in the air just how long Missouri’s only clinic providing abortion services will keep its doors open.
Fetal heartbeats can be detected after just a few weeks, often before a woman even knows she’s pregnant. This type of legislation effectively bans abortion (although legal challenges mean the issue is far from settled). If they stand, medical staff who break these laws could be prosecuted under felony criminal charges, adding another chilling effect on women’s ability to access reproductive health care.
ASHA, in conjunction with our partners, works to educate policy makers and other stakeholders on important sexual health issues and we encourage you to get involved. Visit our policy page and make your voice heard.