Activist Pushes Women Into Huge Debt to Pay for Abortions

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 18, 2012   |   4:26PM   |   Washington, DC

A pro-abortion activist who counsels women on how to get and pay for abortions is coming under criticism for urging women to go into thousands of dollars of debt to pay for abortions.

Writing at the Socialist worker, Leela Yellesetty talks about how she urges women to run up huge credit card bills and take out loans with ridiculous interest rates to be able to pay for abortions.

Depending on how far along you are and the rates at your nearest clinic (which could be several hours’ drive away, adding on transportation and lodging expenses) the cost of an abortion can range from $500 to $3,000 or more. For many women, that number might as well be $1 million given the funds they have available to them.

I counseled one woman to put a $3,000 procedure on her credit card–even though she was unemployed and had no way of making payments–because most of the women I spoke to were not even able to access credit. One woman got a payday loan at a 322 percent annual interest rate. I had to ask women if they had any valuables they could sell to the pawnshop, or if it was possible to put off paying some bills for the month.

I was able to partly assist a Wal-Mart worker, who made $9.50 an hour, who already had three kids and whose husband was unemployed. While she most certainly qualified for public assistance (like many Wal-Mart employees), there was no point in even applying. In the state she’s from, along with 34 others, the state Medicaid system does not cover abortion. She also lives in a state, along with 25 others, that requires a mandatory “informed consent” visit, followed by a 24-hour waiting period–meaning two separate trips and days off work.

In my home state of Washington, we are lucky enough to have a state plan that does cover abortions, but I soon discovered a loophole. If you are lucky enough to have insurance, you don’t qualify for Medicaid–but what if your insurance provider doesn’t cover abortion? Or it does, but you have a $2,000 deductible? What if you’re under 26 and still under your parents’ insurance, but they would disown you if they knew you had an abortion? These are just a few of the situations I encountered.

Oblivious to how she is destroying women’s economic future, the abortion activist says it “feels good” to help women. Yellesetty added that she also urged them to get money from friends and family to kill their children.

IT FELT good to be able to help out some women–to know that along with their own resourcefulness, I was able to play a part in ensuring their ability to take control of their bodies and their future. Much harder were the many women I could not help.

I never asked a woman to tell someone in her life if she didn’t feel they would be supportive, but I had to ask a lot of them to swallow their pride and ask for help from friends and family.

Yellesetty is disgusted with pro-abortion politics and wishes abortion activists would donate to abortion funds like hers that pay for women to have abortions.



I’m willing to guess that none of the “pro-choice” politicians who received so much money in the past election have ever had to confront the agonizing choices these women are facing. If we’re going to “spend, spend, spend” for reproductive rights, let’s send that money to the people who actually need it. Please consider donating directly to funds like the CAIR project or individual clinics, rather than political funds.

Beyond that, though, I think what we need is something money can’t buy, something that was essential to winning abortion rights in the first place: a fighting women’s rights movement in the streets that makes it impossible for the politicians, “pro-choice” or otherwise, to ignore us. A movement that says clearly and unapologetically that free access to abortion is fundamental to women’s health and equality–and should be a basic right for all.

Abortion on demand for any reason at any time in pregnancy. That’s the mindset here.