Writer Complains That Some Women Have to Travel Long Distance to Abort Their Babies

Opinion   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   May 13, 2016   |   3:35PM   |   Washington, DC

No more safe, legal and rare, abortion access has become the focus of abortion activists in the U.S.

Forget about safety. Forget about ensuring women have all the facts to make an informed decision. Forget that more than half of women say they feel pressured to have an abortion. Forget that it’s becoming harder and harder to deny the fact that a unique new human life begins at the moment of conception.

These things don’t matter as much as having a cheap abortion clinic in every woman’s neighborhood, according to abortion activists.

In a new column for Bustle, pro-abortion writer Danielle Campoamor complains how new pro-life laws are “oppressing” women by causing abortion facilities to close and requiring women to wait a day or more after counseling to think about her decision. She blames pro-lifers for forcing women to travel long distances to abort their unborn babies.

Campoamor writes:

I am one of the 35 percent of American women who have had an abortion by the time they’ve turned 45. I got lucky: there was a Planned Parenthood located just a few blocks away from my home when I terminated my pregnancy, and the state I reside in (Washington) doesn’t require mandatory waiting periods for women seeking abortions. I left work early on a Friday, walked into a clinic free of angry protestors, and left a few hours later; the entire procedure, from the time I entered the clinic to the time I put a heating pad on my abdomen from the comfort of my home, took only a few hours, and cost me $200 and zero days of missed work. Sadly, a growing and alarming number of women across the country — who must travel so far to terminate their pregnancies that some have begun to refer to these trips as “abortion vacations” — cannot say the same.

More than 200 abortion restrictions have been enacted since 2011, closing abortion clinics and implementing condescending laws — like waiting periods, which not-so-subtly suggest that if a woman is given time to think over her decision, she will change her mind (a 1981 survey of women who had experienced abortion clinic waiting periods found that 70 percent of patients could not name a single benefit to enduring the waiting periods).

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… As a result, many women are forced to travel great distances to get abortions, which requires as much logistical planning (and generally much more money) than it would to go on an actual vacation. According to a 2008 Guttmacher Survey, 16 percent of abortion patients were forced to travel 25-49 miles, 11 percent traveled 50-100 miles and 6 percent had to travel more than 100 miles in order to terminate.

She rattles off a list of extra expenses that women may face as a result of the laws, including time off work, transportation, a hotel room and child care. An “abortion vacation,” she calls it.

“Basically, what a woman would have to pay for an extended trip away from home — in both upfront expenses and missed wages — she is now being forced to pay to obtain a completely legal and common medical procedure,” she writes.

But abortion is not a common medical procedure. An abortion kills an innocent, unique unborn human being’s life, and even some abortionists admit that. More than likely, that unborn baby’s heart already is beating when the woman has the abortion.

One of the ways pro-lifers work to protect unborn babies from abortion and help their mothers is through the laws that Campoamor complains about.

Informed consent laws ensure that women receive accurate information about their unborn baby’s development, the risks of abortion, and the resources available to help them and their babies. Waiting periods give women time to consider that information. They also ensure that abortion clinics don’t rush women through the process before they have time to think. In states that do not have waiting periods, some women say they regret rushing into aborting their unborn babies.

The laws that have closed abortion clinics in Texas and other states also are protecting unborn babies as well as their mothers from danger. These laws require abortion facilities to meet basic health and safety standards.

Legislators enacted these abortion facility regulations in response to the horrific Philadelphia abortion clinic of Kermit Gosnell. Gosnell was convicted of murdering three newborn babies and contributing to the death of a female patient. Authorities in the Gosnell case discovered that he got away with his murderous trade for so long because of the lack of state regulations. Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams said there was “more oversight of women’s hair salons and nail salons” than over abortion facilities in Pennsylvania.

The gruesome Philadelphia case led a number of states, including Virginia, Texas and Pennsylvania, to enact new regulations to ensure abortion facilities were meeting basic health and safety standards. A number of abortion clinics have closed because they could not or would not meet these basic standards to protect their patients.

But Campoamor does not celebrate how these laws are protecting women from abortionists like Gosnell who injured and killed dozens of women, as well as their babies.

She concludes: “I’m one of the lucky ones… Others aren’t so lucky. Others are oppressed by unnecessary yet somehow lawful burdens, forced to give birth because abortion providers are too far away or financially out of reach.”

Abortion activists are not as interested in women’s health and safety or fully informed decisions. And they certainly are not interested in considering that unborn babies should have a right to life, too. Abortion access is more important.