The passing of House Bill 314 in Alabama that criminalizes abortions is polarizing the nation, but American film director Ava DuVernay is encouraging people to take action.
The unconstitutional bill sponsored by State Rep. Terri Collins (R-Decatur) applies to pregnant women regardless of age and towards rape and incest victims.
HB 314 is also one of many nationwide measures aimed at reversing Roe v. Wade – 1973's U.S. Supreme Court decision that protected a woman's right to choose.
DuVernay's posted an urgent reminder as a response to Wednesday's controversial decision.
"Don't move forward after reading this like everything is normal. Don't shake your head at Alabama and then keep going about your day."
The Wrinkle In Time director expressed that what happened in Alabama is only the beginning.
"Realize that this is a warning. It's Alabama and abortion today. It's you and your rights tomorrow. Your silence will not save you. So speak up."
Don’t move forward after reading this like everything is normal. Don’t shake your head at Alabama and then keep goi… https://t.co/TapGRQxc9h— Ava DuVernay (@Ava DuVernay)1557902335.0
The post became a powerful thread with users vehemently voicing their opposition to HB 314 and encouraging others to vote.
@ava @SarahKSilverman If this bill is signed into law, women in Alabama become slaves to an unborn fetus. The ball… https://t.co/2Hc3pR2JrX— Grampa Morris (@Grampa Morris)1557907019.0
The chamber rejected an amendment to make an exception for women who are victims of rape and incest by a 21 to 11 vote.
The bill will only allow abortions if the pregnant woman's life is threatened.
Doctors performing abortions would be charged with a class A felony and could face up to 99 years in prison, while those attempting to perform the procedure would be charged with a Class C felony punishable for up to ten years in prison.
Here is a challenging perspective.
@ava https://t.co/MJ54cpLyGw— Binford Carter (@Binford Carter)1557918850.0
Sen. Clyde Chambliss, (R-Prattville), who is the bill's sponsor, claimed that the decision could have an impact on the state "as well as the nation."
"It could have an impact on millions of as yet unborn children."
But what about the mothers? Who is speaking for them?
@ava I cannot understand why in 2019 we have moved so far backwards and are restricting women’s reproductive rights… https://t.co/WAMiqjCdAw— Cleverly Changing (@Cleverly Changing)1557916616.0
@Cleverlychangin @ava The fact that this is more restrictive than the Georgia law says a lot because it’s horrible.… https://t.co/sSbdcVXbKa— Adanna Dill (@Adanna Dill)1557920288.0
@ava Add Alabama to places I’ll never go to. I hope this backwards thinking doesn’t spread. People need to get out… https://t.co/b5PnllcjXQ— Brad Gregory (@Brad Gregory)1557915626.0
@BradG1975 @ava I’m concerned that this has already spread. 1/3 of the country actually believes D’s support infant… https://t.co/LerIMYvKbM— Amanda Thomas (@Amanda Thomas)1557923241.0
@manalyn618 @ava It’s scary what misinformed people believe. Truth is whatever someone can convince people it is. I… https://t.co/f7cCBuZtyd— Brad Gregory (@Brad Gregory)1557924103.0
@Cleverlychangin @ava I think the level of misogyny that we have in this country is so deep, so connected with whit… https://t.co/BI1j8Wz7oh— amy wilder (@amy wilder)1557970073.0
A campaign to boycott Alabama began circulating online, but we can do better.
@annajanejoyner @ginarcameron @ava @joanwalsh Thank you, thank you. Some of us actually LIVE in Alabama. Instead of… https://t.co/VVrWgaJmsp— Jena M (@Jena M)1557923728.0
But some Alabamians are genuinely terrified.
@SistatodaMoon @annajanejoyner @ginarcameron @ava @joanwalsh I live here, and I disagree completely. I’d never ask… https://t.co/cfQzQu1VbK— Dr. Ashley Hampton (@Dr. Ashley Hampton)1557926173.0
@drashleyhampton @SistatodaMoon @annajanejoyner @ginarcameron @ava @joanwalsh C’mon ladies.. I live here too. Ole K… https://t.co/xzqZ4qx28n— Nicey (@Nicey)1557927887.0
What else can we do? Here are some organizations that could benefit from the fight.
@ginarcameron @ava @joanwalsh Please don't add suffering to the millions of Alabamian women and citizens who find t… https://t.co/l4PHqACbQJ— Anna Jane Joyner (@Anna Jane Joyner)1557922971.0
@NicoleGarton_ @alt_trite @NiceyMack @drashleyhampton @SistatodaMoon @annajanejoyner @ginarcameron @ava @joanwalsh… https://t.co/UGPzwXBH8i— Jennifer Vanderputten 🌊✒️💻 (@Jennifer Vanderputten 🌊✒️💻)1557946553.0
DuVernay is onto something here, and it is vital than ever not to remain silent on the passage of this heinous legislation.
Democratic Alabama State Senator Absolutely Lays Into Republican Abortion Bill Sponsor In Viral Video
The very likely unconstitutional House Bill 314 was met with major opposition on the Alabama Senate floor when Democratic Senator Vivian Davis Figures confronted her Republican colleague and bill sponsor Senator Clyde Chambliss.
HB 314 bans abortion and makes it a felony offense, including for victims of rape and incest, regardless of age. Doctors performing the procedure could face up to 99 years in prison.
The only exception is if the pregnant woman's life is in imminent danger.
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed the strictest anti-choice measure into law on Wednesday, after a vote of 25 to 6 in the Alabama Senate.
The bill is one of many nationwide anti-abortion measures aiming to de-legitimize Roe v. Wade – the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that favored a woman's right to choose.
Asked Senator Figures ahead of the vote:
"Do you know what it's like to be raped?"
"No, ma'am, I don't."
She continued tearing into the senator and expressed her grievances toward the legislation's supporters who were coincidentally all white men.
“Do you know what it’s like to be raped? Do you know what it’s like to have a relative commit incest on you?” Alaba… https://t.co/qHdk5XL6hG— CNN (@CNN)1557919522.0
Figures proceeded to school the Alabama Senate floor on the traumatic impact rape has on victims.
"Okay, so that's one of those traumas that a person experiences just like that child experienced."
"To take that choice away from that person who has such a traumatic act committed against them, to have to bring that child into this world, and be reminded of that every single day ― some people can do that ... but some can't. But why would you not want a woman to at least have that exception for such a horrific act?"
@CNN Enemies of women’s health reproductive care. Locate and protest them . https://t.co/j7SJqFxApH— Luis H. Lopez (@Luis H. Lopez)1557920527.0
"Because I believe that when that unborn child becomes a person, and we need legal guidance on when that is ―"
But before he could continue, Figures interjected by finishing his thought for him and said:
"Not your business."
She was just getting warmed up.
"You don't have to raise that child. You don't have to carry that child, you don't have to provide for that child, you don't have to do anything for that child ― but yet you want to make that decision for that woman that that's what she has to do."
Alabama is now on nobody's tourism list.
@CNN Nicely done #Alabama I just marked #GulfShores off my list of vacation options not just this year, but permanently.— tkdale1 (@tkdale1)1557920114.0
@tkdale1 @CNN I am with you. Alabama loves pedophiles and hates women. Q the theme song to Deliverance. Theres a re… https://t.co/tVvvdOLc0O— Kelly (@Kelly)1557920793.0
@CNN Alabama is...regressing.— Lloyd Osten (@Lloyd Osten)1557919783.0
Figures, who is one of four women in the Alabama Senate, cannot imagine being tasked with the choice of performing an abortion but believes it is a woman's right to do so.
"I will have to be honest with you: I praise God every day that I was never, ever put in that situation to make that choice. I don't know what choice I would have made. I really don't."
"And that is why I so firmly believe that it should be a woman's choice, that a woman knows what she's up against, she knows what she has to do ― whether she can or cannot provide for that child."
Figures did not sugarcoat her statement when she implied that the male voters were on a power trip.
"You are playing God, in my opinion, because you've already decided what needs to be done. You all don't rule the world. I mean, you may think you do, but you don't."
According to The Huffington Post, all three of her amendments to the bill were rejected. Her first amendment asked for the male voters to cover the state's attorney's fees.
The second was to expand Medicaid eligibility, and the third amendment would make men who've had vasectomies guilty of a class A felony.
"In all of these abortion bills that you all have passed through the years taking away a woman's choice ... was there ever anything in there saying what would happen to the man who impregnated her? Why you all want to control our bodies, I will never, ever know."
@CNN Don't let them move the goalposts. It doesn't matter if there was rape, incest, or consensual sex. A woman has… https://t.co/0Lhw4qNYAg— Gail Zawacki (@Gail Zawacki)1557919920.0
Alabama's healthcare is ranked #46 nationwide. The state's prior laws banned abortion after 21.6 weeks of gestation. Women seeking the procedure were required to undergo a 48-hour waiting period and state-mandated counseling.
Staci Fox, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates, told Refinery 29 that the vote was "a dark day for women in Alabama and across this country."
"Banning abortion is bad enough. Imprisoning doctors for providing care goes beyond the brink."
"In the coming days, we will be mounting the fight of our lives — we will take this to court and ensure abortion remains safe and legal. For now, Planned Parenthood's doors are open for the many patients who need access to care."
The unconstitutional law many consider to be "draconian" is expected to be blocked by the courts.
Jameela Jamil Opens Up About Her Abortion In Viral Thread: 'It Was The Best Decision I Have Ever Made'
Jameela Jamil, an actress and activist who plays Tahani Al-Jamil in NBC's The Good Place, is speaking out against Georgia's recent anti-abortion legislation.
The law makes all abortions illegal after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, generally around 6 weeks—often before a pregnancy is even discovered.
Jamil took to Twitter to voice her opposition to the law, and the damage that it will do.
She called the law:
"upsetting, inhumane, and blatantly demonstrative of a hatred of women, a disregard for our rights, bodies, mental health, and essentially a punishment for rape victims, forcing to carry the baby of their rapist."
This anti-abortion law in Georgia is so upsetting, inhumane, and blatantly demonstrative of a hatred of women, a di… https://t.co/MC6bhzzzHv— Jameela Jamil 🌈 (@Jameela Jamil 🌈)1557774247.0
She went on to reveal that she had an abortion when she was younger and called it "the best decision I ever made."
She wasn't prepared emotionally, psychologically or financially to support a child, and decided not to bring a child into the world under those circumstances.
She also cited the increase in children who will end up in foster care because of the law.
An already overcrowded foster care system isn't prepared or able to deal with a sudden influx in children needing placements.
I had an abortion when I was young, and it was the best decision I have ever made. Both for me, and for the baby I… https://t.co/IzQmHBHgJS— Jameela Jamil 🌈 (@Jameela Jamil 🌈)1557774248.0
She clarified later in the thread that she meant nothing against foster parents. They provide valuable care to children who are in need of a loving home.
Further taxing an already overtaxed foster care system won't help anyone, least of all the children needing foster homes.
Ps.. this isn’t any diss at ALL to foster homes. I’m in awe of people who take in children in need of a family and… https://t.co/xkGOy53edi— Jameela Jamil 🌈 (@Jameela Jamil 🌈)1557775367.0
The comments on Jamil's thread were largely people criticizing her for her decision to have an abortion or attacking her character.
There were some who appreciated her candor, though.
@jameelajamil Thank you for sharing your story. I appreciate your candor and courage.— Super Left Democrat (@Super Left Democrat)1557935471.0
@jameelajamil Thank you for being brave enough to share your story.— WilyOtter (@WilyOtter)1557933558.0
@jameelajamil Thank you for saying what so many women have been shamed into keeping secret. Choice not only gives u… https://t.co/HRJIcBdocJ— Deborah Edwards (@Deborah Edwards)1557932096.0
A few people had words for those that were being willfully obtuse and missing the point of Jamil's message.
@jameelajamil It’s her decision. That’s the point. Everyone should make the decision that best for them instead of shaming women.— Connor Justice (@Connor Justice)1557925400.0
@jameelajamil @YNB What is wrong with people? If you don’t agree with abortion then don’t have one. And wait, doesn… https://t.co/qn6p9lVKUI— Ricky Quarequio (@Ricky Quarequio)1557799897.0
@jameelajamil It takes a lot of courage to be open about this - thank you. I know at least two women for whom this… https://t.co/CXElWcoDiH— Droooooooooo (@Droooooooooo)1557941920.0
@jameelajamil I think people are missing the point that you were trying to make about a child ending up in foster c… https://t.co/BhOMfXXJHJ— Precious (@Precious)1557923352.0
It is a fact that there are many loving foster and adoptive families, but it is also a fact that there are many less than stellar ones. Children placed in foster care don't have the luxury of choosing only to live with the good families.
Many of the arguments against Jamil's message also ignore a pregnant person's right to bodily autonomy.
Laws like this are not going to make people suddenly stop having unwanted pregnancies; they are much more likely to just make people seek unsafe alternatives when safe, legal abortions are not an option.