No Abortion Unless You Post Bail

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No Abortion Unless You Post Bail

Robin Marty

An Oregon woman being held in jail because she could be a "danger to herself or others" is being told she cannot be taken to get an abortion unless she posts $6500 in bail.

A women in Oregon has been placed in custody while awaiting a trial for arson and disorderly conduct after allegedly dousing herself with paint thinner and lighter fluid in a motel room.  The woman, who is being treated for mental health issues while being held, has requested an abortion in a nearby town, but so far the request has been denied unless she comes up with $6500 — 10 percent of the $65,000 in bail being requested as she may be a “flight risk.”

Via the News Register:

At the hearing, Brown testified that Burkholder appeared to be suffering from mental illness when she was lodged. She had shown clear improvement under psychiatric medication prescribed at the jail, Brown said, but in her opinion, continued to pose a risk for herself and others.

Prosecutor Michael Videtich also opposed any conditional release. He said Burkholder had no ties to Yamhill County, thus posed a flight risk.

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“Also, this isn’t a scenario where there is a medical emergency,” he told Collins. “I understand that there is a timeline, but it’s not an emergency.

“This is an elective procedure she has a right to have. But she can post bail.”

Burkholder objected to that assertion. “This is an emergency,” she told the judge.

Under questioning from Collins, Burkholder said that she has been under mental health treatment in the past and would like to receive additional care. She told Collins that she does not understand why the jail cannot simply provide her with transportation to and from her appointment.

But Crabtree said that would not be something he would undertake on his own initiative.

“I’m waiting for a court order to release her, period,” he said. “I’m not going to do it unless I have a court order. I’m not going to risk her life, or find out later that I allowed her to go do something that she was not capable of making a decision on.”

And there is the real issue — she is suffering from mental health issues, so the court has decided that she is not capable of making a decision about wanting an abortion.  But somehow, if she had the $6500 to post bail, she could be allowed to decide for herself.

Yet again we learn that only a woman with financial resources has the right to terminate a pregnancy.