Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Kitchen Sink

Abortions are expensive.

For my part, I have insurance that covers the procedure at a facility that I know and trust. Failing that, I could use my credit card, or even dip into my savings. But with the median personal income at something like $32K for adults 25 and over, it's easy to see why women are often screwed when they need to finance abortions. $400 might not seem like a whole lot to me or even my Abortioneering counterparts, who were fortunate enough to go to college or even grad school, who have worked full-time and have had employer-sponsored insurance and could get our acupuncture and zit creams for little more than a $30 copay. At the same time, we are not millionaires. Even though my income exceeds the median it's not by much, and I'd be pretty unhappy to have to shell out that much cash for an abortion. So imagine what it's like for those below the median, or making nothing at all.

NEWSFLASH: This is a reality!

Women DO ask their partners/baby daddies for money. Women DO pawn jewelry bequeathed to them by grandmothers. Women DO sell their hair. Women DO commit petty larceny. Women DO trim down their children's Christmas lists!

I think a lot of antis are antis not because they have a moral or religious opposition to abortion, but because they hold some sort of prejudice against poor people who they likely have never even associated with. This capitalist wasteland that is the United States fosters the ideology that if people have financial troubles they are a) just exaggerating and whining, and b) they must have done something to deserve it. Well, you low-hanging fruit, I am here to shed some light on your egregious misconceptions. Try some compassion-building activities this holiday season:

-Visit a shelter or food kitchen
-Volunteer on a charity drive
-Deliver meals to the elderly
-Volunteer on a hotline (any one) and actually talk to people who are different from you
-Clean up a messy neighborhood
-Take a walk on the other side of the tracks and just observe

I have dealt with so many folks who feign understanding but simply don't know the score. Educate yourselves!


  1. That's an interesting connection... I had no idea they were so expensive! I think that it's important to talk about the way we associate wealth with merit, and how that ultimately translates into "populations that tend to be poorer, such as people of color, deserve where they are." Which means that they deserve the high rates of teen pregnancy and single mothers that they have?


  2. It also should be noted that while there are abortion funds out there which can give women money to pay for their abortions, there are many people who fall through the cracks--if someone is married, and their spouse makes fairly good money, but she can't tell him that she wants/needs an abortion, then many abortion funds won't help her cover the procedure.
    This isn't to diminish the work that they do--their funds can only go so far. But what this does mean is that just because someone seems to be financially comfortable overall doesn't mean that paying for an abortion wouldn't be difficult for them.

    Working in a clinic, I see people from all different circumstances, and not a one of them is the stereotypical irresponsible promiscuous girl that the antis seem to imagine.

  3. UneFemme, I'm confused/intrigued by what you said about the situation of a married woman who can't talk to her husband about an abortion. I've worked on abortion funding too but haven't run into a specific requirement that a woman discuss the appointment with her partner. Can you explain more?

  4. And, Juliana, $400 is at the low end of the spectrum. The cheapest I've ever seen a procedure is ~$200 for up to 12 weeks, and up to $5,000 for up to 26 weeks. If there are serious complications is can be even more. Eek!

  5. AND, beyond 13 weeks the price increases every week! So time is really essential.


This is not a debate forum -- there are hundreds of other sites for that. This is a safe space for abortion care providers and one that respects the full spectrum of reproductive choices; comments that are not in that spirit will either wind up in the spam filter or languish in the moderation queue.