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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Hannah Jenkins
Hannah Jenkins
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Hi! My name is Hannah Jenkins, and I am one of the copy editors here at the North Wind. I am a sophomore at NMU, and I love all things writing and editing-related. I am proud to be a part of this great...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

Women deserve the ‘right to life’ as well

Staff Column by Savanna Rondeau

A few years ago, a friend I had known since fourth grade became pregnant. She was unaware that the condom had broken during intercourse because her boyfriend failed to tell her. Two months later, I was holding her hand while we waited impatiently for those little blue lines to show up determining her fate.

After the discovery, she went to her doctor where she found that the fetus was not developing properly and would eventually need more care than her body could give it. My friend was not of stable physical health to carry a child and the time came to discuss the option of abortion.

Thinking back to the situation, I would have been devastated if the doctor was not completely honest with my friend and she had complications with the pregnancy that would put her life at risk.

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My friend did everything right, yet by getting an abortion, it will be she who is punished and ridiculed by society, while the boyfriend can simply walk away from the situation without a trace. Many women are in this situation and will now have to fight another battle: the federal government.

Instead of focusing on getting the United States out of debt, a few Republicans have put their time, effort and our money into suppressing women’s rights with a new bill called the Protect Life Act.

This act amends the Patient Protect and Affordable Care Act and states that hospitals would be free from the legal responsibility of providing a woman with any abortion, which includes abortions performed in emergency situations. Essentially, hospitals will be able to deny an emergency abortion to a woman, even if that meant she would die.

Ironically, the Protect Life Act is being nicknamed the “Let Women Die Bill” by the American people, and rightfully so. Since when did women lose the right to live and becoming pregnant meant a woman lost her rights in general? Allowing hospitals to deny abortion procedures violates the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) enacted in 1986.

This law requires that hospitals’ emergency departments must examine any individual to determine if an emergency condition or active pregnancy labor is present and provide care to stabilize the condition.

Not performing an emergency abortion and allowing the woman to die denies that woman the right to have her life saved under the EMTALA, the act that truly protects life.

The act also denies federal funding to all health insurance plans that cover abortion and prevents women from purchasing a private insurance plan through a state health exchange that includes abortion coverage. Supporters of the act are trying to prevent taxpayers’ money from going toward any payments of abortion procedures.

However, the Hyde Amendment was put into effect in 1976 to prevent federal funds going toward abortion procedures after Roe v. Wade legalized abortion. The PPACA upholds the ruling of the Hyde Amendment and separates taxpayer dollars from payments made to private insurance coverage that cover abortions. Why is the government trying to limit women’s options when they should be providing women the freedom to choose?

I am not writing about whether abortions are ethically right or wrong. This is about something much greater: women’s rights, especially a woman’s right to live, which this bill takes away.

Personally, I believe that women’s rights have progressed too far to now allow men in an office dictate what a woman can and cannot do to her body.

Medical ethics should be left to those who are educated in that field and to the individual patient. The House of Representatives has already passed this bill on Oct. 13 and is now in the Senate wasting its precious time and money. America is the land of the free, except it seems, for pregnant women.

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