I had a patient in the clinic who really did not want an abortion but who had no resources to cover the costs of prenatal care or childbirth. She was single and without insurance coverage but made just enough money to be ineligible for state assistance. She already had outstanding bills at the hospital and with the local ob-gyn practice. No doctor would see her without payment up front.
We were willing to do the abortion for a reduced rate or for free if necessary. But she really didn’t want an abortion. Once I understood her situation, I went to the phone and called the local ‘crisis pregnancy center.’
"Hello, this is Dr. Wicklund."
Dead silence. I might as well have said I was Satan.
"Hello?" I said again. "This is Dr. Wicklund."
"Hello," very tentatively, followed by another long silence.
"I need help with a patient," I said. She came to me for an abortion, but really doesn’t want one. What she really needs is someone to do her prenatal care and birth for free."
"What do you expect us to do?"
I let that hang for a minute.
This Common Secret, Susan Wicklund
Crisis Pregnancy Centers often disguise themselves as medical facilities, with advertisements offering “help” with an unplanned pregnancy. Their main goal is to keep the pregnant person from having an abortion at all costs. Usually, all they’ll give you is a free pregnancy test, some baby clothes, and maybe a box of diapers.
The patient referred to in the quote was given free prenatal care and did not have to pay the financial cost of childbirth by a local anti-choice doctor. She would often stop by Dr. Wicklund’s office to let her know how she was doing:
"He (the doctor) always moans and groans about being tricked into [doing this]," she says. "Then he goes off on these tirades against abortion."
"This Common Secret" is such a phenomenal book. And yeah, crisis pregnancy centers are generally evil, so there’s that.
I was nervous about volunteering for the hotline. I was nervous about being responsible for dividing up the money (or, rather, turning people down). I was nervous about listening to and having to react in real time to people’s difficult situations. I assumed that it would be too much emotionally for me to handle.
I was wrong.
Yes, the stories are hard sometimes and making decisions regarding who to fund is stressful. But these things are balanced by (or even utterly destroyed by) the power of a single person saying, “Thank you” six times over, happy that anyone cares about their situation, relieved to receive help without judgement.
I’m blogging about abortion funds today, so stay tuned for more!
Today, hundreds of thousands of women go hungry, risk eviction, and pawn their possessions as they attempt to raise money for an abortion.
Some are never able to raise enough money and are forced to continue the pregnancy.
Repealing the “Hyde Amendment,” which forbids federal funding for abortion in the Medicaid program, could change all that. If we repeal the Hyde Amendment, a woman would be able to obtain an abortion regardless of her income. Medicaid would again cover abortion care like it does every other health care service a women needs. Congress also denies abortion coverage to military personnel and their families, women receiving care from Indian Health Services, and people on disability insurance.
Without the Hyde Amendment, many abortion funds would not be necessary. Please click through to sign the petition.
"But I don’t support abortions and don’t want to pay for them!!1"
Did you know that you have to pay probably around 100x more money for the care of the child that you forced the birth of? Welfare and the adoption system may not be much of our taxes but it’s significantly more than paying for abortion, birth control, and other preventative healthcare. The point of preventative healthcare is to save money down the road by preventing big shit from happening. Having a child is a big shit happening.
A growing number of states are moving to exploit women’s grief when they’re making the painful, personal decision to end a doomed pregnancy.
With no clinic near by and a pregnant daughter who didn’t want to give birth, one mother went online for help…and got arrested for it.
Unsafe abortion is responsible for 13% of maternal deaths worldwide and represents one of the four major causes of pregnancy-related mortality and morbidity
The House will vote TODAY on a bill that would effectively eliminate abortion coverage for millions of women. It’s supposedly about public funds, but the fact is that HR 7 would interfere with people’s personal decisions and the coverage they purchase with their own money. Even worse: The bill would especially hurt families who are already struggling to make ends meet.
The bottom line is simple: Politicians have no place interfering with our private medical decisions. Tell Congress to reject this dangerous bill now.
Just before Thanksgiving, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) issued new “emergency” regulations that overhauled the existing regulations on abortion clinics. These 21 pages of rules give DHH the authority to immediately shut down a clinic without opportunity for appeal, even for simple infractions. Clinics have stated that they would be unable to meet the burdensome and excessive requirements, and this would lead to the closure of all five clinics in Louisiana.
Oh my god, these regulations are the height of impossibility. Among other things, patients have to have certain medical information documented by the clinic a month before their procedure. This is a 30-day waiting period.
Louisiana residents, there is a hearing on Wednesday, January 29 at 9:30 am in Room 118 of the Bienville Building in Baton Rouge. PLEASE submit written comments (the link has sample letters) or get there early wearing purple to match the folks at the New Orleans Abortion Fund.
» White House officially supports abortion insurance coverage
Statement of Administration Policy:
The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 7. The legislation would intrude on women’s reproductive freedom and access to health care; increase the financial burden on many Americans; unnecessarily restrict the private insurance choices that consumers have today; and restrict the District of Columbia’s use of local funds, which undermines home rule.
Longstanding Federal policy prohibits the use of Federal funds for abortions, except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the woman would be endangered. This prohibition is maintained in the Affordable Care Act and reinforced through the President’s Executive Order 13535. H.R. 7 would go well beyond these safeguards by interfering with consumers’ private health care choices. The Administration strongly opposes legislation that unnecessarily restricts women’s reproductive freedoms and consumers’ private insurance options.
If the President were presented with H.R. 7, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.
More on HR 7 here and here.
This is good news - even if this bill passes both the Senate and the House, it’s likely it would be rejected by the President.
If you’d like to tell your congress members to not vote for this bill, see this website
Missouri lawmakers have decided that women are not capable of making their own medical decisions without politician’s interference, so they’re pushing legislation that would extend the state’s 24-hour waiting period before a woman can get a safe and legal abortion to 72 hours.
This bill is designed to demean and shame a woman in an effort to try to change her mind. And for some women, it could pose a senseless health risk by forcing abortions later in pregnancy. But the real kicker? That mandatory 72-hour period doesn’t count weekends, so some women will actually have to wait five (or more!) days before they can get the care they need. So here’s to Missouri—because the banks might be open on weekends, but according to politicians, women’s brains apparently aren’t.