Dwindling choices: Anti-abortion zealotry taking a toll

And (of course) women in poverty are suffering the most:

The young woman lived in Dallas, 650 miles from Albuquerque, but that was where she would have to go for an abortion, she was told. New state regulations had forced several of Dallas’s six abortion clinics to close, creating weekslong waiting lists. By the time the woman could get in, she would be up against the Texas ban on abortions after 20 weeks’ gestation.

But she could not afford the trip to New Mexico.

This is not a health sector economics issue, or an unfortunate byproduct of regulatory oversight. This situation was created intentionally, to block women from exercising their legal right to choose. And the fact that it's happening all over the country, instituted by individual state governments, is evidence of a conspiracy to take away those rights on a national scale. If that doesn't qualify for a US DOJ Civil Rights investigation, then we might as well just shut that division down. And while I find this next part admirable, women shouldn't have to rely on charity to exercise their rights:

So it was that she had left a phone message with a hotline in Austin and, on a recent evening, heard back from Lenzi Sheible, the 20-year-old founder of a fund to help low-income women pay the unexpected costs of traveling for abortions in Texas — or to states beyond. They spoke four times that night as the woman wavered about going to Albuquerque alone.

“You can always call me when you get to New Mexico; just talk to me,” Ms. Sheible said. By the end of the evening, she had texted the woman confirmation numbers for a flight the next day, $680 round trip, and four nights’ stay at an Albuquerque hotel, with shuttle service to the clinic.

Again, this effort is admirable, and it will probably leave many reading it with a warm fuzzy. But the longer I think about it, the angrier I get. First off, it's simply not sustainable. That kind of cost could only end up helping a few dozen women, maybe a few hundred if the fundraising is successful. And lately, charitable fundraising nation-wide has been dismal. Second and much more irritating: Those charitable dollars don't just materialize out of thin air, there will be a shortage somewhere else. Food for the poor? Clothing? Other health care needs? All because a handful of superstitious science-deprived nut-jobs think they have the right to choose for somebody else.

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Comments

I love the idea of litigation

I love the idea of litigation designed to go after the conspiracy approach. It's a novel idea, and just the kind of creativity we need in the courts these days.

Yeah, me too

For too long the Federal government has punted on this issue by "leaving it up to the states" to decide how abortions should be regulated, and now that lack of oversight has created an environment where small-minded people can undermine Roe v Wade without making a single argument in the Supreme Court.

It amounts to a de facto ban on abortions, for an ever-growing population of women.

It's one thing to "wink and nudge" about corporate giveaways wrapped in innocent packages. But when you pull that clever shit in an effort to drag women back to Victorian-era status, landing in a courtroom should be only the first step down.