Anti-choice researcher confirms that restrictions are designed to raise costs for women

Anti-choice researcher confirms that restrictions are designed to raise costs for women

Friday, September 21, 2012

A leading anti-choice researcher recently made some remarks at the Values Voters Summit (as if the rest of us don't vote our values? but I digress!) that stray from the traditional anti-choice talking points, explicitly stating that increasing the cost of an abortion means that less women are able to get the procedure:

You can defund abortion by stopping Medicaid funding or by defunding Planned Parenthood. You can strengthen parental-involvement laws, by requiring both parents to be involved. You can strengthen informed-consent laws: Require the woman to see an ultrasound, or require two trips to the clinic. That raises the costs; that stops the abortion from happening.

Well, that is unfortunately true. Though generally the proponents of obstacles to abortion care - such as waiting periods, ultrasounds, etc. - frame these barriers in terms of giving women time to think, or "information," or whatever they can muster that betrays their deep distrust of women to make informed decisions on their own, these revelatory remarks tell us that anti-choicers know exactly what they are doing: leaving access to abortion only for the wealthy.

Of course, reproductive justice advocates have known for a long time that the brunt of the weight of abortion restrictions falls on Latinas and other women of color, who are disproportionately poor. In fact, wealth has always facilitated access to abortion, even before Roe, when women who had the resources to do so flew to Sweden and Puerto Rico to get their procedures. The reality is today, and it always has been, that access to safe and legal abortion is an economic justice issue. Everything from waiting periods, to the added cost of an ultrasound, to the fact that federal Medicaid funds cannot go towards abortion hits low-income women and women of color the hardest. And the anti-choice movement knows exactly what they are doing.