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Sunday, March 20, 2016

Abortion Logic

The degree of difficulty involved in getting an abortion in Texas has reached Olympic diving levels, thanks to a number of laws placing onerous requirements on abortion providers.  Lawmakers disingenuously claim that these laws actually protect women, requiring, for example, that doctors who perform abortions at small clinics have admitting privileges at hospitals and that the clinics themselves conform to rigorous hospital-like standards that actually have nothing to do with providing safe abortions.  These laws don't seem to have any practical effect, other than putting abortion clinics out of business--which is of course what they we're designed to do. If state lawmakers really wanted to improve the safety of women seeking abortions, they could simply, for example, provide additional funds to abortion clinics, but that obviously will never happen.

What I find particularly galling about these laws is that they force women determined to get an abortion to undertake arduous journeys--sometimes of hundreds of miles--to find one of the few clinics that remain open in Texas. An article in today's paper tells of a woman who actually flew to California to have an abortion because she couldn't get an appointment at an overbooked Texas clinic.  She considered herself "lucky" that she was able to take out a high-interest loan to get the procedure done. And she's kind of right, as any number of women don't have the same resources. So in other words, these "protective" laws force women who lack the financial resources to get an abortion to, perhaps, carry a pregnancy to full term--because raising a child obviously poses a much smaller financial burden, right?

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