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No, Low Income Texans Aren’t Taking “Abortion Vacations”

No, Low Income Texans Aren’t Taking “Abortion Vacations”

Since the passage of HB 2, the Texas bill that not only banned abortion after 20 weeks post conception but also made it impossible to run a clinic that provides abortions unless it is a qualified ambulatory surgical center and houses a doctor with admitting privileges to a hospital within 30 miles of the building, the situation for those seeking an abortion in the state has grown dire. With the announcement of even more clinic closures, there are now less than 20 clinics operating in the state, and, by the time all of the rules and regulations are put into effect, that number is expected to be a mere six clinics in just five cities serving the entirely of Texas.

With clinic access non-existent now in areas of the state like west Texas or the Rio Grande Valley, and expected to get even worse by November, terminating an unwanted pregnancy is now more than just going an having a procedure done. It’s arranging the multi-hour drive to the nearest city (sometimes out of state), planning the overnight stay to adhere to the 24 hour wait after an ultrasound, if necessary (and it usually is). It’s arranging care for other children, if she has them, which many do. It’s a massive amount of financial investment, planning and coordinating all in order to access a legal procedure that is still at this moment considered a constitutional right.

Most people would call that a ridiculous amount of hoops to jump through all in an attempt to force a pregnant person to fail and then carry a pregnancy to term. The Daily Caller? They call it an “abortion vacation.”

Writing a willfully offensive and ignorant column about the trials of those who are now finding it almost beyond their reach to enact their legal right to obtain an abortion, Daily Caller columnist Eric Owen reports on a new effort by a Texas group to try to help low income pregnant people get the resources they need to make it to a clinic.Fund Texas Women is a non-profit headed by a college student that helps pregnant people navigate the landscape to obtain an abortion in or out of the state, based on their gestation and procedure needs, coordinating whatever bus or air travel and hotel stays are necessary but often financially out of reach for these patients.

“Since its founding on Nov. 8, the organization has spent approximately $10,000 to send 35 women on abortion vacations,” writes Owens in an article entitled “Abortion Tourism Is Now a Thing In Texas.””The group pays for airfare, bus tickets, hotel accommodations and various other expenses.”

Yes, apparently being forced to leave your home for two days at a minimum in order to get an abortion while relying on financial help from outsiders, is a “vacation” now. A fun, relaxing jaunt.

The “abortion tourism” line has sadly become a common one as clinic access grows more and more limited in the country. Albuquerque, N.M., the home of only three clinics that provide the third trimester abortions often sought by families seeking to terminate fetuses with severe anomalies, was designated the “late term abortion capital of the world“by abortion opponents seeking to pass a 20 week abortion ban by popular vote last fall (the vote failed). “Abortion tourism“has also long been used as a term in Europe, where women from countries like Ireland who have full abortion bans in place are forced to go to neighboring countries like England to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.

Ending a pregnancy is not a vacation. It is currently a right, not a luxury, and it is a right that should be available to any person, regardless of whether or not that person has the financial means to access it. It is not a weekend on the beach at an all inclusive resort. It is not a whim, or something people do because they have some spare time and a little extra cash in their bank accounts. It is a medical procedure that pregnant people think seriously about, and chose because they do not want to remain pregnant or give birth.

What Owens inadvertently admits with his callous rhetoric, however, is the real situation in Texas. Abortion is, for a large number of pregnant people, as inaccessible as it is for those who live in countries where the procedure is illegal. Texas has done exactly what it intended to do ban abortion in the state, even if, at this point, the people they have mostly banned it for are the very poor. As the majority of the clinics in the state continue to close, that group of people it has been made illegal for will grow. By the end, abortion will be accessible only for those who live in the five cities that have clinics left, or those with the financial resources to get there. For everyone else, it will be like Roe was never decided in the first place.

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520 comments

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6:59PM PDT on Apr 3, 2014

Not to mention throwing a lot of extra cost onto the public dime to care for women recovering from at home and illegal aboritons and for orphans

6:57PM PDT on Apr 3, 2014

Japan does NOT have a mandatory abortion policy, There are several points of misinformations and that is one, another is that criminalizing abortion will end abortion, when it increases it as we have already seen in Texas

7:30PM PDT on Mar 29, 2014

Carole L
.I would love to stop buying made in China, buy that is almost an impossible feet considering that more than 75% of all products made available to purchase are made in China. One Christmas I went around to see exactly how many products made in the USA were available in the stores. This was not only a joke( not funny)but impossible.I went into Mary Kay Jewelers and asked what they had available that were American made, they had not one single piece.Needless to say I did not buy anything. But the United States makes it almost impossible for people to not to buy products made in China. I buy very little.
I know what you mean about the doctors not wanting to do a tubal or a full hysterectomy on a young woman. I ran into that problem also, but I simply told my doctor that if he didn't want to do it I was sure there was a doctor out there that would be glad to take my money.So I got a full hysterectomy.
In my case religion doesn't enter into it.To me that unborn is a living life. as for contraceptives I have no qualms about that at all.These would be a good thing if they prevented the pregnancy. The insurance companies should allow coverage on contraceptives, I don't understand what their major malfunction is in this area.

12:22PM PDT on Mar 29, 2014

Mary B
“Carole L.....I hope you understood my response to jennifer was "tongue in cheek"

no problemo.

Brenda H
“If you don't want more or any children please make a trip to the doctor and get fixed.”

for women who have never had nor want children it is not so easy to find a dr. who will preform a tubal. It took me to age 35 before I finally convinced them I was 'not' going to change my mind.

To the folks who say abortion is against their “religious” beliefs, and allowing women to have contraception coverage in their 'personal' insurance plans forces them to go against their “religious” beliefs. Purchasing products Made in China & Japan supports abortion. In China & Japan abortion is mandatory. By purchasing such products one not only “supports” abortion, but “pays” for them as well. So, 'if' you're truly against abortion put your money where your mouth is and stop purchasing products Made in China & Japan.

4:48AM PDT on Mar 26, 2014

Thank you Brenda H for sharing your grief..it wouldn't be easy and many of us haven't suffered that loss..it is not in the natural order to bury one's child.." When I had two children and lost one I got fixed" I know no words that will compensate you for your loss... and some women who are forced to adopt their children out...feel the same grief...it's the same loss.. the same as for those who are forced to give them up to a foster home.. then there are those that give birth..to "born asleep" baby.....a much more beautiful term compared to "stillborn" all grieving mothers....we all are aware of the grief and acknowledge it..and some just choose not to go through all of that grief...and we can't blame them for that...if one suffers there is no justification that all must suffer

7:59PM PDT on Mar 25, 2014

@william: If a man is afraid a vasectomy might not be reversible for him (a rare condition), he could have his sperm"professionally frozen and stored" for future use.

While this is true William, it would be beyond the cost and nature of a large number of people who are poor, and many would be distrustful of the science behind it.

The repeat post wasn't my doing and likely a flaw in the Care2 system and network. My apologies just the same.

7:56PM PDT on Mar 25, 2014

There also seems to be a similarity in speech patterns and sentence structure. Although temporarily the posts are shorter in nature rather than the lengthy long rants we had become accustomed to, and spends one post acting as if critical of its alter ego to further distract and deflect attention.This latest apparition is sheltering the egotistical need to participate in the ad hominem attacks for the time being.

7:56PM PDT on Mar 25, 2014

There also seems to be a similarity in speech patterns and sentence structure. Although temporarily the posts are shorter in nature rather than the lengthy long rants we had become accustomed to, and spends one post acting as if critical of its alter ego to further distract and deflect attention.This latest apparition is sheltering the egotistical need to participate in the ad hominem attacks for the time being.

7:51PM PDT on Mar 25, 2014

If a man is afraid a vasectomy might not be reversible for him (a rare condition), he could
have his sperm"professionally frozen and stored" for future use.

7:24PM PDT on Mar 25, 2014

Maybe the blokes ought to get fixed.

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