The procedure, already rife with stigma because of government restrictions and the anti-choice movement, is becoming increasingly inaccessible to women who choose to exercise their reproductive rights. With several states implementing laws and regulations that make it difficult, if not impossible, to keep an abortion clinic open, as many as 54 facilities have closed their doors since 2010. Amanda Marcotte explains in Slate:
Unlike what anti-choice advocates would have you believe, pro-choicers do not have a secret plan to open an abortion clinic on every corner. But we’d like women to have a bevy of options should the need arise. And the need arises a lot. Twenty-two percent of pregnancies (excluding miscarriage) end in abortion. Every year, about 1 in 50 women will get an abortion, and about1 and 3 women will get one in her lifetime. And yet, the Daily Beast counted only 724 clinics open at the beginning of 2013.
...This problem of accessibility is certainly reflective of the current political climate, where a lot of people have this sense that abortion should be legal but also a hassle, presumably so women don’t feel they got off too easy. It’s a nice, comfortable opinion for someone who isn’t currently dealing with an unwanted pregnancy. In reality, however, setting up a bunch of needless obstacles is just arbitrary cruelty.
Such cruelty comes as a result of the politics of people who advertise their respect for a person’s life and their undying devotion to humanity. It’s unlikely given the statistic that every year, about one in 50 women will get an abortion that it’s just the pro-choicers who are having them. And in fact, the people suffering the most are those with fewer resources, living in rural areas where it’s become common for some women to have to drive more than 100 miles to get an abortion.
All of this makes America a dangerous place for women to live, where their options are consistently being limited or weighed down by humiliating obstacles designed in some sick game being played in town halls and Congress. Marcotte reminds us that these politicians who are “creating hardship for the sake of hardship” won’t have to deal with the grim outcomes of their laws, “unless their daughter gets pregnant, and then they’ll probably just make the drive.”
—Posted by Natasha Hakimi
Steve Rhodes (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
At a pro-choice protest outside of Planned Parenthood, one sign thanks the clinic for “investing in my health.”