Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Every Woman Has a Story

I work almost every day with women who are trying to get an abortion. Many of my conversations are brief and to the point. I get them what they need, and they’re on their way. I have so many people to talk to in a day. Sometimes they seem to blend in, lost their job, getting evicted, on food stamps. They seem the same, woman after woman, but they are all individual women with their own stories.

Today I spoke to a woman in Illinois. She’s 18 trying to go to school, while working at K-mart and helping her grandma with the bills. When she found out she was pregnant, she started working on getting the money together. She even got help from the man involved, her boyfriend. Unfortunately, neither of them have much money, so she had to do the infamous price chase. She is now well into her second trimester, and the clinic doesn’t have its own anesthesiologist, so she has to wait next week when they can get one in. Even with funding help, she hasn’t gotten all the money together. We talked about her fundraising options. She has already taken out two loans – one for school and one to help her grandma pay bills, she has no other family to get help from, her boyfriend gave her all the money he had, and she already put up the title to her car to help out someone else.

For the past couple of days I have been speaking to a woman, whose story started out pretty simple, pretty ordinary. She was about 7 or 8 weeks by her last menstrual period. She had her appointment, had all her money together. She was all set. Except there’s something else. She was pregnant by an abusive man. The abuse got so bad that she had to leave. She packed a bag, got on a plane, and went to the only safe place she knows. This made her miss the appointment she had and caused her to spend the money she set aside for her abortion on a plane ticket. Now she’s in an unfamiliar city, with no job, no money, and she’s still pregnant. She’s now about 13 weeks. She needs to get seen because now her price will only continue to go up. She now has to rely on the people she is now staying with to get her to the clinic and help her pay for the abortion.

Both of these women and so many others are depending on people they know and small abortion funds to be able to get access to reproductive health care. This is a shout out to abortion funds, and if you don’t already, please consider donating to a local abortion fund in your area or a fund like this one – The Women’s Reproductive Rights Assistance Project. They are a national fund, helping women all over the country, and work directly with clinics to help fund women in need. Times are tough for everyone, you, these low-income women, and these small abortion funds. Really any assistance you could give would be appreciated.

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