After hearing the results of the Stupak-Amendment this evening, I burst into tears. Normally, when these ridiculous bills are passed and, once again, a road block is placed in front of women’s health, I grit my teeth, curse under my breath, and prepare to face another challenge in the world of reproductive health. Tonight, though, my emotions took over and I wept. If you know me, you know I don’t cry easily. But my tears weren’t for me. I was crying for the thousands upon thousands of women this bill affects.
If you work in abortion care, you hear the stories that no one will believe. Of course there are the tragic tales of rape and incest that cause your insides to turn, but there are also so many stories of women seeking abortion because of other valid, personal, challenging reasons. The struggle that these women face to finance their abortion is tremendous. And this is in conjunction with the extensive legal barriers created to block their choice…as if the decision is taken lightly!
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You ask any person that works on the NAF hotline, or an abortion fund, or if you read The Abortioneers Blog, they will tell you the financial barriers placed infront of women to obtain an abortion are incredible. These barriers are so great, in fact, that some women struggle to pay for a first trimester abortion (cheaper and safe)and end up pulling together the money when they are in their second trimester (more expensive with more health risks).
And these are the stories of women who don’t have abortion coverage.
Not only does this bill continue to ban coverage of abortion services in the public insurance sector, but it bans abortion in the private sector as well. Thus women who are covered by their insurance for an abortion (majority) IN CASE they have an unplanned pregnancy, have now lost that privilege (…if this bill becomes law obviously). And who suffers the most? Low-income women, the most vulnerable.
If there ever was a time to speak up to your representatives, it’s now. I contacted Rep Stupak just minutes before writing this blog. Am I a constituent of Representative Stupak? No (I put in the address of his own office in the email form), but he made a decision for me and my friends and my patients and every woman by creating this bill, so he is going to hear from me.
Dear Representative Stupak,
As a woman of this country, I want to tell you directly that your abortion ban disgusts me.
How dare you make decisions for me and how dare you create a bill that takes away my abortion coverage. Would you also like to take away my contraceptive coverage? Perhaps my ability to have an annual pap smear?
Your bill makes me seethe with anger. As a future physician, you have just made a decision for so many women-you will never meet them, you will never hear their stories, and you will never know their struggles. Abortion care already carries so many burdens for women and you have just made it harder.
When women start dying from dangerous "back-alley" abortions again because of severe lack of access to providers, don’t be surprised when you and all the other members of congress who voted for your selfish bill find blood on their hands.
Medical Student and future Ob/Gyn
These representatives have made a decision for all women of this country by voting to take away our right to abortion coverage. Our LEGAL RIGHT!
Be vocal about this issue. We cannot let this bill become law. Our choice is legal, personal, private, and should be affordable and covered for all women.