The “Pro-Life” movement is working fiercely to make abortions illegal once and for all. The Republican lawmakers just keep on passing new ways to make it difficult for women to get the help they need.
According to RH Reality Check, 162 clinics have either closed or stopped offering abortion services since 2011. Only twenty-one clinics have opened during that time. Texas leads the pack with 30 clinics closed. As a result, women have to wait an average of twenty days for the procedure.
Pro-Choice America says that up to 87% of insurance plans used to cover abortion. Now, it is extremely difficult to find a policy that offers this coverage. Some states prohibit Affordable Care Act plans from offering abortion coverage.
Fourteen states have banned abortion after twenty weeks. None of these laws have decent health exceptions, and very few of them offer exceptions for rape or incest. In May 2015, Congress introduced a bill that would require a sexual assault survivor seeking an abortion after twenty weeks to provide written evidence that they received counselling or medical treatment from a list of specific providers. The counseling also could not come from abortion clinics. The bill also didn’t include exceptions even for fetal anomalies.
Only 1.5% of abortions occur after twenty weeks, but there are many reasons why a woman might need an abortion later in the pregnancy. Women entering menopause would have trouble carrying. There was one woman in Nebraska whose water broke prematurely at twenty-two weeks. The doctors determined that the baby was not viable, but they could not terminate the pregnancy. So, this woman was forced to endure pain and infection until the baby was born. The baby only lived fifteen minutes.
Every pregnancy is different, and lawmakers cannot account for every possibility. Some of these bills that don’t have health exceptions can endanger the mother as well as the fetus.
Photo by Diana Adams, found in the public domain.