an After abortion

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Monday, May 26, 2003



How some Ms. Magazine readers view the new abortion regulations in Texas.

The new regulations involve a 24-hour "reflection period" and require that the woman be showin pictures of fetuses at different stages of development. One of the Ms. posters uses the word "terrorize" to describe this. Huh.

Pro-choice advocates invariably object to 24-hour waiting periods on the grounds that waiting periods are nothing more than an ill-disguised attempt to reduce access to abortion by making it more expensive. They ask us to consider the woman who lives a long distance from an abortion clinic who will now have to pay for a motel room as well as for the abortion.

A few points.

States with 24-hour-waiting periods find that some women decide not to have an abortion during that 24-hour reflection period. Pro-choice opposition to these waiting period laws never reflects the slightest joy about that.

The pro-choice position always has been that we must have legal abortion because otherwise desperate women will butcher themselves with coat-hangers. It's hard to imagine that a woman who is that desperate wouldn't find a way to pay for a cheap motel room for one night. However, if that is a real issue in some cases, wouldn't you think that our public-minded abortionists could survey their rural patients for financial need and deduct the cost of a cheap hotel room from the cost of the abortion? Or couldn't a local pro-abortion group ask its members to provide free overnight lodging in their own homes for desperate, poor, rural women seeking abortions?

Public interest groups routinely and regularly dip into their own pockets and open their own homes to further social goals that they care about.

This leaves me with the impression that what really bothers pro-choice advocates about 24-hour waiting period laws is the very idea that there IS something to reflect about in that 24-hour period.

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