The Aftershow: Episode 5
In the last episode, Breaking Down Barriers on the Road to Abortions, I spoke to April Greene of The Magnolia Fund, which provides financial and practical support for women who need assistance in obtaining abortions.
First and foremost, The Magnolia Fund, and all abortion funds, is made possible entirely by the contributions of people like you. Please consider donating to the National Network of abortion funds here. Your contribution will make a meaningful, lifelong impact on the woman it helps.
And without further ado, some resources about topics mentioned in the episode:
The Hyde Amendment and why it’s total BS:
The article linked to above describes how the Hyde Amendment is a policy that bans the use of Medicaid to cover the cost of an abortion.
“Since Medicaid enrollees are predominantly low-income women, the Hyde Amendment has essentially turned abortion into a luxury item for women who can afford to pay for the procedure out-of-pocket.”
The article also touches on the absurdly high cost of abortions for those on public assistance and not – because even if you’re not on Medicaid, abortions are often not covered by private insurance.
“A first-trimester abortion cost an average of $470 in 2009… Second, these women must also bear the practical costs imposed by state restrictions, like multiple doctor’s office visits and unnecessary waiting periods. A low-income single mother who needs to pay for travel to the nearest clinic, a night at a hotel due to a mandatory waiting period, childcare, and lost earnings from work, could end up paying an additional $1,380.”
And what about the Affordable Care Act, you ask? According to healthinsurance.gov, some ACA plans do cover abortion and some 25 states have done so…Eight states do not allow an exception for cases where the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.”
Read here about Barbara Lee and the Each Woman Act, which seeks to undo the damage that the Hyde Amendment and the ACA’s abortion bans have created. The act would require:
a) If a woman gets her healthcare through the federal government, she will be covered for all pregnancy-related care, including abortion.
b) Federal, state, and local legislators will not be able to interfere with private insurance markets to prevent insurance companies from providing abortion coverage.
The Sham of Crisis Pregnancy Centers
If you’d rather laugh before becoming furious and sad, here is Samantha Bee’s hilarious take on the sham of Crisis Pregnancy Centers.
This article details the report that NARAL conducted on crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) in California, as mentioned in the episode. “CPCs strategically misinform and deceive pregnant people, always with the same underlying (or explicit) message: bring the pregnancy to term.
91% of centers visited by NARAL doled out misinformation about the effects of abortion on a person’s physical and mental health, saying that having an abortion would increase the risk of breast cancer, infertility, miscarriage, and/or depression that results in suicide.”
This article offers a nice primer as well: "CPCs increasingly look just like doctor's offices with ultrasound rooms and staff in scrubs. Yet they do not provide or refer for contraception or abortion. Many pregnancy-center counselors, even those who provide medical information, are not licensed. And even some workers who are licensed, such as nurses and ultrasound technicians, repeat myths about abortion and contraception.”
"Every year, thousands of women…seek help at what appear to be secular medical clinics but are actually Christian anti-abortion centers. Throughout the United States, there are at least 3,000 crisis pregnancy centers [crisis pregnancy centers outnumber abortion clinics nationwide by 3 to 1], many of which belong to two religious anti-abortion organizations — Care Net and Heartbeat International.
All of this is supported by tens of millions of federal and state dollars. At least 11 states now directly fund pregnancy centers…Many states refer low-income pregnant women to anti-abortion centers on health department websites.
Few states, however, have any laws regulating how pregnancy centers interact with women.”
Thankfully, California has enacted the FACT Act, which requires crisis pregnancy centers to disclose that they are not licensed as medical facilities by the state. It’s a step in the right direction in one state.
States Requiring Doctors to Read False Medical Info to Patients Receiving Abortions
This article describes how, “according to the Guttmacher Institute, women in 17 states must be counseled on points that are wholly unsupported by the medical and scientific community at large, like the link between abortion and breast cancer, fetal pain, or long-term mental health risks from abortion like depression and suicide for women.”
And Broadly has compiled a state-by-state list of the lies that abortion doctors are required to tell women. The information in these abortion-specific informed consent materials is chosen by legislators, not doctors.
“Though lawmakers insist that such policies are meant to ensure that women are making informed and safe choices about their own bodies, the informed consent materials are often rife with medically inaccurate and misleading statements.”
Abortion and Parental Involvement Laws
Advocates for Youth describes parental involvement laws that require either parental notification or consent for abortions to be performed on minors as a “threat to young women’s health and safety.”
“The majority of states – thirty-nine as of December 2013 – currently enforce laws that require a young woman to notify or obtain consent from one or both parents before she can receive abortion care. Yet research has shown that these laws often delay young women’s access, endangering young women’s health and safety, and leaving too many alone and afraid. Ideally, any woman…who is faced with an unintended pregnancy can seek the advice of those who care for her. But for those who can't…or who face the threat of violence in their homes—it is best for them to seek the advice of a trained medical professional.
Well now, wasn’t that depressing?
Here are some links to reproductive rights organizations mentioned in the episode:
National Network of Abortion Funds
Spark: Reproductive Justice Now
SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective