Friday, December 4, 2009

Women Can’t Afford Inequality

“Women Can’t Afford Inequality” was, hand-down, the best sign I saw at anti-Stupak-Pitts Amendment rallies. I can’t tell you how much that resonated in me. As the recession continues, abortion funds are seeing a swell of people calling in for funds- not just from the women themselves, but also from families and friends trying to gather information for their loved ones and from clinics asking for just a little more…

At CAF, we’ve been getting more calls about fetal anomalies and women's health risks. More women are being denied by their private insurance companies for medically necessary abortions. Take, for example, a woman who called whose insurance did not want to cover her surgical abortion, necessary to complete her natural abortion (miscarriage) until she had an actual infection. She and her husband were told by the hospital they’d need $9,000 for the procedure, if they didn’t want to wait to endanger her life. Another woman had a large tumor that needed to be removed and decided that an abortion made sense both medically and at this time in her life, but her student insurance wouldn’t cover it. Between her and her parents, she still needed more. A single mother’s fetus was diagnosed with multiple anomalies and had to drive 6 hours each way for the multi-day procedure.

Can you imagine these women hearing “No.” from the insurance companies they thought they could rely on? The companies they were paying for out of their own pockets? Even if they are lucky enough to come up with most of the money… And lucky enough be helped by the clinics that discount the procedure or by getting through to the funds that still have money… More often then not, they still have to come up with gas money, transportation if they don’t own a car, money for childcare, take off precious days from work (if they’re lucky enough to be working in this economy), find/afford housing near their clinics if they can’t go home the day or two (or sometimes 3) that they need to be at the clinic… All while racing against the clock, as their pregnancies progress and the procedures become longer, more involved, and more expensive.

We need to stop the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, repeal the Hyde Amendment, and nip any similar amendments in the bud. Because women can’t afford inequality.

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