Abortions Up in Tough Times?

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Apparently that’s the case, that people are finding kids too spendy right now. The National Network for Abortion Funds, which helps women in need pay for abortions, says that calls to their helpline have quadrupled in recent months. The AP/Google.com puts it this way:

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.

First, this is a siren call for prevention, which legislators, and the courts, are hearing. That you have to resort to an abortion when you could be given access to available, affordable, birth control, is a lousy choice to have to make.

Second, how much do abortions cost anyway? Since many states restrict coverage [pdf] of the procedure by insurers, and since the Hyde amendment still prohibits federal funds (such as Medicaid) from covering most abortions, women often have to pay out-of-pocket. First trimester abortions cost in the neighborhood of $300-$500, second trimester ones can run upwards of $5000. And since the price for an abortion goes up pretty much each week once you get into the second trimester the issue of access takes on renewed significance. Waiting periods, parental notification, restrictions that send women across borders, these all take an emotional toll, and a financial one. I wonder if the recession could also be having an opposite effect, women wanting to have the procedure but not doing so because money is tight.And finally, women and men absolutely need to think about what it will mean financially to have a kid, and the bottom line is that everyone should be free to make the choice that’s best for them, but the conclusion that you should only have kids if you can afford the hundreds of thousands of dollars it’s gonna cost to send them to good schools and buy them them their Wiis, is sorta crazytown. Kids are really expensive, (not to mention gigantic wastes of carbon); if people without flush means were to break down every cost they’d likely never have babies. Which would leave us with a lot of spoiled rich kids (and then entitled adults). People without a lot of cash have babies all the time, babies that grow into productive members of society. So we’ll let them decide. If their decision is to have a little monster, then, yes, they get to toss the diaphragm we’ve decided to stick in with their unemployment check, no questions asked.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

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In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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