How abortion rights are being stripped away | Riley J. Dennis


If you live in the US, I’m sure you know
about Roe V. Wade. It’s the landmark 1973 Supreme Court Case
that said that abortion is a protected right under the 14th amendment. Thanks to that decision, abortion has been
mostly legal across the US for the last 44 years. I say mostly legal because individual states
have passed a myriad of laws making it as difficult as possible for people to get an
abortion. Because if you can’t make something illegal,
the next best step is to make it really really hard to get, if not impossible. It doesn’t matter if you can legally have
an abortion, if you can’t possibly jump through all the necessary hoops. So that’s what I want to talk about today
— not the right to an abortion, but the laws that have been put in place to make it harder
if not impossible to have an abortion. I think it’s a given that people should
have legal access to abortion — so I’m not here to debate that whole “life begins
at conception” nonsense. However you or your religion define life is
irrelevant because people have bodily autonomy and should be able to decide what they do
with their own bodies. You can philosophize about life and death
all you want, but we need to be thinking about how to protect people’s bodily autonomy. At this point, I imagine there are at least
a few of you wondering why I keep saying “people” and not “women”. Aren’t women the only ones who can have
abortions? Not exactly. The majority of people who have abortions
are women, that’s for sure, but trans men and non-binary people can as well. Plus, not all women can have abortions. Some cis women can’t get pregnant for one
reason or another, and trans women can’t get pregnant either. So it’s inclusive and accurate to say “people
who can get pregnant”. If you hate trans people or inclusive language,
this is probably not the video for you. Also, I’m going to be just talking about
abortion rights. As a whole, reproductive rights encompass
a lot more than just abortion. They include a lot of issues surrounding bodily
autonomy and sexual health, like birth control, forced sterilization, STI testing, family
planning, reproductive health care, and a lot more. But for this video, we’re just focusing
on abortion rights. I want to make it clear that abortion is a
very important part of reproductive rights, but it’s also not the only part we should
be focusing on. With all of that being said, let’s take
a look at some of the ways abortion rights are being stripped away today. These are often called TRAP laws, which is
short for Targeted Restrictions on Abortion Providers. The first is waiting periods. 27 states have laws that require a mandatory
waiting period from when a person requests an abortion to when they’re allowed to have
the procedure done. This is usually 24, 48, or 72 hours. These waiting periods are completely medically
unnecessary and only introduce another hurdle for people seeking an abortion. In fact, in a lot of states, it’s easier
and quicker to buy a gun than it is to get an abortion. But gun control is a topic for a different
video — I just find that completely mindblowing. Anyway, waiting periods serve no medical purpose
and no ethical purpose, since all abortion procedures are done with informed consent,
just like any other medical procedure. This means that the patient is given all of
the relevant information and is allowed to make a decision for themself. Forcing people to wait days to think about
their decision is unheard of for most other medical procedures, and it does nothing to
change people’s minds. The vast majority of people seeking abortions
have already made up their minds and won’t be dissuaded — though the waiting period
can have a negative impact on their mental health as they grow more and more anxious. Plus, requiring two trips to an abortion provider
is either impossible or really difficult for a lot of people. Most people don’t live right down the street
from an abortion provider, if they live in a rural area or don’t have access to a car
or good public transportation, forcing them to make two trips can cause them to be unable
to have an abortion. Waiting periods only exist to hamper people’s
ability to have an abortion by making it more difficult and time-consuming. Next is mandatory counseling, which often
goes hand-in-hand with waiting periods. 18 states require women to go through some
kind of counseling before receiving an abortion. This can range from the alleged link between
abortion and breast cancer, the alleged ability of a fetus to feel pain, and the alleged longterm
mental health consequences of an abortion. All of this is anti-choice propaganda that
isn’t based in any kind of real research. There is no link between abortion and breast
cancer, talking about when a fetus feels pain is just an emotional appeal to guilt people
into not wanting an abortion, and abortions don’t pose a risk to a person’s mental
health. You know what can pose a risk to your mental
health? Having a child you’re in no way prepared
for. This has all been extensively studied, and
so forcing people to sit through this nonsense propaganda to try and make them feel bad about
their decision is not helpful. It’s an unnecessary obstacle that does nothing
to actually educate people about abortion. Next is parental involvement, which really
only applies to minors, who are a small minority of overall abortion cases (about 12%) — but
it’s still really important because they’re some of the most vulnerable, and often the
least prepared to have a child. Parental involvement laws range from just
notifying the parents to requiring their consent. 26 states have laws requiring parental consent,
while 11 states have laws requiring parental notice, meaning that 37 states have some kind
of parental involvement law. This is really dangerous for minors who don’t
have supportive parents, who come from abusive households, or who could be forced to go through
with a pregnancy because of their parents. The minor’s right to privacy and safety
and bodily autonomy should overrule any kind of right the parent has over their child. Someone shouldn’t be forced to go through
with a life-altering and irreversible decision that they don’t want, like having a child,
just because their parents made them. Abortions don’t sterilize people — these
kids can definitely have kids of their own later when they’re grown up and ready for
it. But if we’re going to defend the right to
an abortion, that right should be given across the board and not withheld from minors with
unsupportive parents. The fourth way that abortion rights are being
stripped away is through gestational limits. These are essentially bans on abortions passed
a certain time period. 43 states have these. Most commonly, abortions are banned after
20 or 24 weeks, though some states just ban abortions in the third trimester or after
the fetus is considered viable — or in other words is likely to be able to live outside
of the womb with proper care and modern medicine. Viability can range from 20 to 28 weeks, and
individual doctors can have different ideas of when a fetus is viable. Some states have exceptions for if the person’s
health is in danger, or if they were raped. Most abortions are done well before 20 weeks. Only 1.3% of abortions are done 21 weeks or
later. But still, late-term abortions are not taken
lightly, and putting up more obstacles to them can endanger the life of the pregnant
person. There are a multitude of health conditions
that can make giving birth especially risky for people, and even giving birth when healthy
isn’t completely risk-free. In fact, the US has an abnormally high maternal
mortality rate. Out of 100,000 live births, 26.4 of those
giving birth die as a result. This is compared to 9.2 deaths in the UK,
5.5 in Australia, and 3.8 in Finland. Late-term abortions can save lives, and restricting
access to them can be deadly. Plus, thanks to all the other hurdles, some
people could be delayed having an abortion until 20 weeks have already passed. Gestational limits are just more fear-mongering
to guilt people out of having abortions that they really need. If someone makes the decision to have an abortion
that late, they have their reasons — and it’s wrong of us to try and tell them otherwise,
because, again, they should still have bodily autonomy. The fifth obstacle is ridiculous building
and physician requirements. A few years ago, laws went into place in several
states, including Texas and Alabama, requiring abortion providers to meet very specific building
criteria, down to the size of the hallways. These requirements presented an “undue burden”
to those seeking abortions because it was unnecessary for the health of the patient,
and it caused many abortion providers to shut down when it was too expensive for them to
comply. Last year, in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt,
the Supreme Court ruled that those laws in Texas were unconstitutional. That ruling should have an effect on similar
laws around the country, although it didn’t automatically strike them all down. In fact, 23 states still have unnecessary
laws that go far beyond what is medically necessary to protect patients. Many of these even regulate buildings where
only abortion pills are provided. 16 states have licensing standards that are
comparable to ambulatory surgical centers. 19 states have specific requirements for the
size of hallways, and requirements for the abortion facility to have a relationship with
a nearby hospital. 11 states require that the physician doing
the abortion has a relationship with a nearby hospital. These kinds of laws were found to create an
undue burden in Texas because oftentimes nearby hospitals are hostile to abortion or won’t
work with abortion providers at all — not to mention the fact that abortions are extremely
safe procedures. The sixth way is through a lack of public
funding. You’ve probably heard people say that Planned
Parenthood doesn’t use any of its government funding to pay for abortions because of the
Hyde Amendment, which is true, but that’s also a really bad law. 32 states also prohibit the use of state funds
to provide abortion. But abortions are necessary medical procedures
and the government should funding them. Giving everyone access to abortion benefits
society in general by helping to ensure that only those who want to have children are having
children. Abortion is a part of family planning, and
it should be publicly funded. Refusing to publicly fund abortions makes
it even harder for low-income people to afford them. Abortion shouldn’t be a luxury for the wealthy;
it should be a right. The seventh way is by restricting what health
insurance will cover, and what health care providers will do. 11 states have some kind of restriction on
abortion for private insurance plans. 42 states allow institutions to refuse to
do abortions. That means that even if you have insurance,
you might not be able to afford an abortion. And it means that if the only hospital near
you refuses to do abortions, you could be out of luck. Abortions, like I’ve said, are necessary
medical procedures, and allowing institutions to opt out of them is ridiculous. If someone needs medical care, a hospital
shouldn’t be able to say, “Oh, too bad, we don’t provide that,” even though they
easily could. And insurance companies should have to cover
all kinds of necessary medical care, including abortion. Restricting the ways that people can pay for
abortions and restricting where they can get abortions is just another way of making it
impossible while still technically legal. There are probably other ways that state legislatures
have found to restrict access to abortion, but these are some of the main ones. These kinds of laws are still being passed
today. Planned Parenthood is currently suing Missouri
over a new restriction. A nationwide abortion restriction bill called
the “heartbeat bill” was recently introduced to the House of Representatives. And the Republican’s newest tax plan allows
fetuses to save for college in an effort to fight abortion. These attacks on abortion rights are gonna
keep coming, and they’re gonna happen at the state and federal level. Most of the restrictions have been passed
by the states, which just makes it so important that you’re voting in local elections and
not electing anti-choice representatives. The Democratic Party has even in some cases
been endorsing anti-choice candidates, which is awful. Abortion rights are not something we can compromise
on. They’re not a bargaining chip. People’s lives and their well-being depend
on this. Vote in local elections and make your voice
heard as much as you can. Abortion rights are important and necessary,
and restrictions on abortions are an attack on bodily autonomy and a person’s right
to choose. Call your representatives, and do what you
can to help. Anyway, that’s all I had for you today. Thanks so much for watching, and I’ll see
you next time.

99 Replies to “How abortion rights are being stripped away | Riley J. Dennis”

  1. I have seen some of your videos and wondered how you can be so wrong. Still, I was surprised at your ignorance in this video. Abortions absolutely have a negative impact on WOMENS' mental health and the fact that the fetus can feel pain is not propaganda, it's true and I don't even think you said otherwise actually. Also don't you dare call me "anti-choice". We as pro-life people have enough respect to call you "pro-choice" even though we could call you "pro-death" so have some respect yourself.

  2. I need to point something out, this is definitely something I've personally witnessed, while having one or two abortions, in your lifetime won't exactly sterilize you, having to undergo the process of abortion, repeatedly can definitely sterilize you, or at the very least damage your uterus to the point where, you can no longer safely birth a child. I have a friend who finds herself in that particular situation right now, another abortion for her will mean loosing her ability to have children. So while you're right using an abortion when the child is young to correct, a lapse in judgement, IE: not using protection, or having sex before you're of legal consenting age in the first place, won't ruin your life, it can become a concern at a certain point. just something to keep in mind.

  3. When it comes to public funding, how many other medical procedures, that are not covered by insurance, are covered by public funding. The reason I ask is specifically because, Abortion is the only non insurance covered medical procedure, that I see where public funding comes up at all. I'm not particularly against the Idea of public funding when abortion is medically necessary, however beyond that, I don't think public funding needs to be a thing for this.

  4. First off, I appreciate the sources you gave for this argument.

    I still think that this video has no ability to change anyone's mind on the other side. Your main argument still boiled down to "i don't care if abortion is moral I just want people to have the right to do it". You'll have to prove that abortion is moral to change people's minds, then maybe those people can get behind reducing wait periods. Anyways just telling you why you immediately lost 50% of people seriously considering your argument.

  5. A side note, about rights, Rights are allowances, things that if you have the ability to do, you should not be prevented from doing, this is what we call freedom. While the state's job is to protect our rights, it is not the state's job to give us the ability to exorcise those rights. You are allowed to have an abortion, and the state should not be doing anything to prevent you from having one, however, it's not the state's job to help you get one either. A.K.A state funding for an abortion, on the grounds that it's a right, doesn't really make a whole lot of sense.

  6. That's kinda fascinating but also sad too; and occasionally disappointing to hear about. I guess its just one of those things where progress is a little slower.

  7. Demanding the legal right to an abortion based upon the argument of protecting body autonomy doesn't work because someone else has to carry out that abortion. You cannot force others to provide an abortion service, they have their own autonomy remember? So under your argument, it must be under their free will to do so.

  8. No uterus, no opinion. From someone who has had an abortion, you cannot say that abortion doesn’t affect mental health because it totally does. At least by person. My depression got so much worse in the time after my abortion because it’s not a nice process to go through. Counselling is so helpful for people going through this, you never have or never will have to experience this so you have no reason to say what isn’t helpful for women having abortions.

  9. Kinda off topic but I wish healthcare would also have to cover breast reductions. It's not a free boob job its a quality of life surgery because it can seriously affect it.

  10. With the parental consent laws… What if it was a parent abusing their teen and they're the reason the kid needs an abortion? Involving the parents and requiring their consent could be the absolute worst thing possible in a lot of circumstances.

  11. "I may not agree with what you say, but I will fight to the death for your right say it." -Evelyn Beatrice

    We should live by this quote

  12. So laws to make getting an abortion more difficult is bad but laws to make getting a gun more difficult is good? Arent both killing people?

  13. I love your content Riley and I know this is sort of a youtube thing but omg take a breath.

    There is no time for comprehension without a pause.

  14. I'm all for abortion. But is this about preventing poor people from having having children? Forced evolution? Rich people have kids have better kids.

  15. Hey Riley. I am 100% pro choice and this was a great and helpful video. BUT the one thing I think you missed the mark on was saying that having an abortion doesn't negatively affect your mental health. Trust me it can and it does. Now not having the abortion may have even more of a negative affect on ones mental health than having the abortion, but I don't think it's fair or right to say that abortions can't negatively impact mental heath. X

  16. What?! Abortions don't affect mental health?! Are you fucking serious. My friend had an abortion and it ruined her. It did not instantly liberate her but she constantly guilts herself from this choice. She knows it was the right choice for her but she can't help thinking what if.

  17. I'm not against what you're saying. But I want to play devil's advocate. If a fetus is developed enough to be capable of thought, should they not have their own right to bodily autonomy?

  18. Your not capable of birthing a child but yet you advocate for them to be terminated or aborted (those are synomous by the way),this gender dysphoria diagnosed patient is going way to far

  19. I sexually identify as a cuisart toaster

    Guys it’s cool tho I’m a female toaster
    I’m not making fun of my trans community

  20. You saying transracialism isn't real is violence! And its the same hate that led to michael jackson to self medicate himself to death!

  21. Peoples lives will be at stake if they can't have abortions…. Cant see the irony of the lives at stake if abortion is not made illegal because babies are human beings.

  22. Abortions should be illegal it's wrong you chose to have sex deal with the consequences. Just take birth control and use condoms if you don't then raise your fucking kid

  23. WOMEN: LOSING CONTROL OF OUR REPRODUCTIVE FACULTIES IS A SLIPPERY SLOPE TO LOSING *EVERYTHING*. WHEN DID WOMEN'S LIB TRULY BEGIN? WITH *BIRTH CONTROL*!!!

  24. Since most of the comments here are insulting and hurtful, I'm going to leave my hopefully helpful one here. I agree with your views. Keep encouraging them. A lot more people need to be educated on this… obviously.

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