Sunday, July 24, 2011

Anti-Choice Legislations Abounds

Recently, five states - Kansas, Alabama, Idaho, Indiana and Oklahoma have all banned abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy. The basis of these bills is that fetuses can feel pain at this gestational limit and therefore abortions shouldn't happen for that reason.

This is interesting because there is NO agreement on when fetuses can feel pain. It is generally thought to be around the 24th week of pregnancy, not the 20th.

And, as we know, only 1.5% of abortions are done after 20 weeks, so this is a very small number compared to the total number of women getting abortions.

The women who are getting these later abortions generally have special (aka fucked up) circumstances. They didn't find out they were pregnant until later in the pregnancy, the pregnancy has fetal anomalies, cases of rape and incest, etc.

In my experience, though, this is usually what happens:

1. Woman finds out she is pregnant when she is about 10 weeks along. She has 2-4 weeks to get the money together together before the price will go up.
2. She usually can't get the money together in time. This is because most women getting abortions already have children and are single mothers living under the federal poverty line.
3. She pawns most of her possessions, tries to clean houses, babysit, etc other random jobs to get the money. She will ask the guy involved and invariably he will be completely out of the picture/unavailable/say no/make excuses/etc.
4. Week 14 comes and the price goes up $250.
5. Now she needs even more money.
6. I can try to contact local or national funds, but because of the economy being so bad many funds are low/out of money.
7. Patient is now 16 weeks along; no clinics in her area will now see her because she is too far along for them.
8. In addition to getting the money together, she must also figure out extended child care for her children because her procedure will now be multiple days. She also needs a hotel.
9. She tries and tries to get the money but it just isn't happening.
10. She is now 18 weeks and cannot be seen in her state because of the state's gestational limits.
11. She must now travel a couple hundred miles to a clinic that will see her. So in addition to child care, hotel, etc she has to factor in travel costs. Additionally, she has to wait 24 hours once she sees the clinic staff once because her state has a law that she has to wait 24 hours after the initial consultation, just so she has time to think about it. She has clearly not had it on her mind, so. Thank God.
12. Many clinics have laws that require the second opinion of another doctor who agrees the woman can have the abortion. Because at this point, she is probably just pulling everyone's leg, right? This usually involves a fee and can be a logistical nightmare.
13. If she can get the money, funds can help out, a miracle of child care / transport, etc happens, AND she makes it to the clinic, she can finally get her abortion.
14. Let's keep our fingers crossed she doesn't have a negative blood type, because once she gets to the clinic and they do the blood testing, that will be an additional fee. Let's also hope she doesn't have a sonogram and turns out to be a few days farther along that we thought; that will cause the price to up as well.

Sounds so easy and fun, right? No wonder so many women get late term abortions.

With more and more states banning abortions after 20 weeks, they are only making it harder for these women to get to a provider that can help them. Making it harder for women to attain a later term abortion isn't going to make them go away; it's just going to cause more women to self-abort or do other desperate things.

No woman having a late term abortion (or even just a "regular" abortion) wants to be in that situation. NOBODY. I'm glad Republicans and other anti-choicers are so pro-social programs to help the poor, though. Since now women can't get the abortions they were so desperately seeking, it's nice to know they'll have access to health care, shelter, food etc for themselves and their children + newborn post-partum. Also someone to help with the diapers, etc.

Oh... nevermind.


  1. You didn't mention Ohio. Ohio banned abortions after 20 weeks, the Heartbeat Bill passed in the House, it's the next state to defund PP, AND the paternal consent bill has come up again.

  2. This article was so helpful. I'm currently living in Brazil, and have a friend who is going to get an abortion soon. She is really nervous, and I am doing my best to tell her everything I know about my own experiences with abortion, which have only been in the United States. I was trying to explain how abortion is banned in CA only after the fetus is viable, and how late-term abortions tend to come about, and then I ran into this. Thanks so much!

  3. This is all so incredibly frustrating, these attacks on women and reproductive health.

    Why do they (the anti-choice extremists passing this shit) feel the need to hold women's bodies hostage?

  4. midwestminute, good catch -- Ohio has had some crazy goings-on lately, even inaugurating a new chapter of nonsense with the "fetus testimony" they tried (half-successfully?) to use in the "heartbeat bill" hearings.

    And let's not forget that NEW HAMPSHIRE (wtf??) voted to de-fund Planned Parenthood a few weeks ago. "Live free or die," eh? Sounds like they just made our choice for us.

  5. mrbananagrabberthispostmademelaughoutloudwithalittleHA!becauseit'ssoverytrue.


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