Even the Taliban have more lax rights than the USA

The US states have been allowed to decide whether to ban abortion since Friday. Certain states have stricter laws on paper than the Taliban.

the essentials in brief

  • The US Supreme Court overturned abortion rights on Friday.
  • The decision caused outrage across the globe.
  • Even the Taliban have a more lax abortion law than parts of the United States.

On Friday, the Supreme Court overturned abortion rights. This means that the individual states are now free to allow, restrict or ban abortion altogether.

For almost 50 years, the landmark judgment in Roe v. Wade the abortion issue nationwide. It has allowed abortions to viable fetuses, around 24 weeks gestation.

Abortion is already banned in nine conservative-dominated states. Finally, just over half of the 50 states are likely to make abortion illegal. The court’s verdict caused countless angry reactions on the street.

Some states even want to make the pill a punishable offense

Activists declare outraged online that the rules in the affected countries are even stricter than those of the Islamist Taliban. And that is indeed the case – at least on paper.

When asked by Nau.ch, Islamic scholar Reinhard Schulze from the University of Bern explained: “In Afghanistan, there has been an abortion provision in the penal code since 1976. It states that abortion is illegal unless the life of the mother is at risk or the life of the baby is at risk, which is interpreted as a severe disability or poor quality of life for the baby.”

US states such as Alabama, Arkansas, Missouri, Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma or Kentucky are stricter: The only reason why a pregnancy can be terminated is if the mother is at really serious medical risk.

Even after rape or incest, abortions are no longer possible in these parts of the country. In certain states, the ban on abortion is said to apply from conception onwards. The morning-after pill and other contraceptive methods could also be criminalized in the future.

Penalties in the USA are sometimes harsher than those of the Taliban

According to the law in Afghanistan, anyone who intentionally kills a fetus can be sentenced to a maximum of seven years in prison, Schulze said. Anyone who performs the abortion will either go to jail or be fined.

What do you think of the Supreme Court’s decision?

In the conservative states of the United States, penalties for abortions are much higher. In Alabama, performing an abortion carries a new sentence of 10 to 99 years in prison. Utah faces up to 15 years in prison and a $15,000 fine.

Taliban judges do not always rule according to the penal code

An explicit regulation of the Taliban does not yet exist. In theory, they would have to comply with Afghanistan’s existing, rather liberal penal code.

According to Reinhard Schulze, however, in practice they are often based on the customary law of Pashtun tribal communities, which tends to be extremely restrictive here.

It always depends on the individual case whether the Taliban judges base their decisions on the penal code or on their own sense of justice. “This legal uncertainty means an enormous additional burden for women,” says the expert.

More on the subject:

University of Bern Pregnancy Mother Dollar Penalty Imprisonment Ban on Abortion Taliban Law


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