The Nevada legislature, which concluded its biennial session on Monday, is making history — and not just statistically. At 52%, this state house is the first to become majority female,and what a difference that is proving to make, particularly when it comes to women’s reproductive rights.
Take the recent rash of “heartbeat bills” passed by male-dominant legislatures in a growing number of states this past month. They include Georgia, Missouri and, most recently, Louisiana. The restrictions are medieval, forcing women and girls to become mothers once a fetal heartbeat is detected (at about six to eight weeks).
The penalties for having an abortion — or carrying one out — are worse. In Louisiana, a woman’s reward for being the victim of a sexual assault: bearing and raising her rapist’s child. In Alabama, abortion has been almost entirely banned, including in cases of rape and incest.
In Georgia, once a fetal heartbeat is detected, the unborn child is considered a “natural person,” leaving women who get an abortion and doctors who perform abortions open to prosecution. Doctors in Alabama could face up to 99 years in prison for carrying out a woman’s decision to terminate her pregnancy.