cant afford the abortion or the kid

April 20, 2009 § 9 Comments

from USA today:

Other doctors are hearing similarly wrenching tales. For many Americans, the recession is affecting their most intimate decisions about sex and family planning. Doctors and clinics are reporting that many women are choosing abortions and men are having vasectomies because they cannot afford a child.

Planned Parenthood of Illinois clinics performed an all-time high number of abortions in January, many of them motivated by the women’s economic worries, said CEO Steve Trombley, who declined to give exact numbers. Abortions at Planned Parenthood’s St. Louis-area clinics were up nearly 7% in the second half of 2008 from a year earlier — ending a stretch in which the numbers were dwindling.

see, i think that this ‘recession’ is a depression.  and this depression is bad.  one of the worst we have had.  so of course it is affecting reproductive choices.  kind of pisses me off that in the govt there is all this talk about ‘family values’ but the same folks who claim to stand for such values well…you know the old screed….hypocrites….all of them….

and from the chicago tribune

The interviews also suggest that more women are struggling to afford contraception and that, in some cases, they are risking their physical and emotional health by delaying abortion procedures for weeks as they seek a way to pay the cost.

One married woman told the Tribune she and her husband made the painful choice to end her pregnancy because they could not afford a third child. But the family’s insurance doesn’t cover abortions, and not until her 14th week could they pull together enough money to pay.

Abortion rates have been declining for years, and experts said it is too early to know if the nation’s financial woes will change that trend. Government and private agencies that track abortions have not yet compiled statistics for 2008 or early 2009.

well this just point once again to the analysis from the reproductive justice movement.  that choice is not the answer.  that one has to take an intersectional approach to these matters and understand that reproductive services including abortion are not available to folks who dont have the cash.

and how much choice is there when you are decide not to have a child because you cant afford it.  and you cant get an abortion cause you cant afford it either?

this is making me think that maybe we can start looking into alternatives to the medical abortion.  for instance the herbal abortion methods.

which reminds me of sitting in a meeting a couple of weeks ago as we were discussing a womens community health project here in cairo and i asked if there were traditional birth control methods in the community.  and folks looked at me like i was a lil off.  and irrelevant.  obviously medical contraception is superior to any of their other methods.  hmmm….well i was just asking…since medical contraception can get awfully expensive.

you know we got to start thinking creatively.  outside of the systems that dont support us.  as more of us lose our health care, our pay check, our plan a.  find new ways and traditional ones of supporting women in their difficult decisions.


§ 9 Responses to cant afford the abortion or the kid

  • Renee says:

    Since the medicalization of birth and reproduction women have lost the connection with herbal medications. It is a sad thing because when we had this knowledge we were better able to make decisions about when or if we were going to have children.
    I agree that having to choose to have an abortion because of finances is not really making a choice. This is exactly why the fundies seek to make abortion less accessible rather than pushing to have it outlawed out right. It does not have to be made illegal if women cannot afford to get one if they need it.

    • mama says:

      i do wonder at what we were forced to give up in terms of reproductive health when women’s health issues came under the purview of male doctors. which is making me think of doing an outlaw midwives zine to focus on health, women of color, working class, mothers, children…especially in the sense of finding practical ways of taking back our health care…diy ethic…urban gardening, etc.
      and i think it is an interesting point of collusion between the fundies and second wave white femmies…second wave white femmies normally concede to abortion being made less accessible- as long as on paper abortion is still legal…

  • Mamita Mala says:

    What’s real is that for many women and specifically women of color, this decision and struggle isn’t new to this recession. I haven’t had health insurance for years and birth control beyond condoms is outside of my economic reach. It boggles my mind the hoops parents are made to go through to get their children health insurance coverage pero no one thinks of the health of the parents, especially the reproductive health.

    • mama says:

      i feel you. for the vast majority of my adult life (save 2 years working at an ngo and the months i was preggers) i havent had health insurance. aza had it when we were in the states. for part of the time. but every time we would move from one city to the next we would have to start the process all over again to get her insured (and you know what a joy that is).
      i am wondering what is it going to mean for the usa when there are so many women who cant afford health care. especially for those who are so used to having it. because it is one thing for me…i live my life, make choices, assuming knowing that i dont have health care. but, for example, habibi and i used to argue about the way he drove. and i finally said stop driving like we have full coverage on the car! because we dont. and stop running stop signs, red lights, speeding up when the light turns yellow. stop driving like a white boy who knows the cops would never stop him for such minor infractions. it is freaking me out.
      and i wonder about women who have always had health insurance. and how having health insurance changes the way you make so many choices in your life. and it is really like a different ‘lifestyle’. a whole different set of minute daily decisions.
      for me i am just grateful that we are able to find alternative medicines within our budgets.
      and that is why i was wondering about herbal contraceptives. traditional medicines.
      but part of the reason that i learned so much about alt. medicines was because the whole: doctor, hospital, health clinic…was out of my range.

  • Derek says:

    Olwen knows a little bit about the herbal approach. If I’m not mistaken, if pregnancy is caught early, herbal approaches are very effective and affordable, but has to be done carefully.

    I also see the repression of reproductive freedoms as a huge cause in poverty. There are always limited resources, and with larger numbers of people, those resources will be harder to come by.

    When the Bubonic Plague hit Europe as many as 60% of Europe’s population died. As a result, each person had a greater share of those resources, and the price of labor increased dramatically. This produced the first middle class in Europe since the Roman Empire, and gave people enough leisure time be creative. As a result the Renaissance happened.

  • Derek says:

    The inverse also happens. Make access to reproductive freedoms harder and repress women, then you get massive population growth. Increase the population, and you increase the labor pool. Increase the labor pool, and you can drive down wages.

    It is truly scary how bad this recession really is. Living in northern VA, I’m so cut off from the rest of the country economically. As it turns out, the only jobs that are recession proof are in the public sector.

    But the numbers ain’t good. They’re damn right scary, and it looks like we’re just beginning to hit the second wave of this “recession”. The second wave will be either the credit card bubble or the commercial real estate bubble. Either way, the rest of 2009 is looking pretty grim.

  • Whit says:

    One reason I decided to get the state-subsidized “family planning” healthcare is because I just couldn’t afford BC anymore, even on a sliding scale. And when my provider mentioned that I could get an IUD on the state’s tab, well, how could I turn that down?

  • Acacia says:

    Im in the very situation being discussed. Ive been out of a job since halloween and living in my car with a bachlors degree; cant find any work to do with my degree since i graduated.
    I was in an accident mid december totaling my car, due to the fault of the other driver. When in the hospital they discovered i was pregnant and they refused to do xrays on me due to the radiation on the baby. Im in pain and have no idea if anything else is wrong or how far along i am.
    I hit the floor crying because I dont have a job and now im without a vehicle. I dont know what to do or where to turn. Ive considered an abort. but do not have the money for one. Im looking online for answers, can anyone help me?

  • Divine Oubliette says:

    Herbal Birth Control in the form of Rosemary served me well for YEARS! Rosemary grows in my garden and strong infusions taken 4 times a day from ovulation to menstruation will PREVENT a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterine lining.

    The one time I forgot and was inconsistent – well, my daughter came from that pregnancy.

    The reason why I choose Rosemary? Because it is NOT an embryotoxic, it has NO teratogenicity if you are inconsistent and it fails to prevent implantation.

    Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme

    Wise women still abound and are willing to share their wisdom!

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