I’ve been watching the outrage about the recently passed law in Michigan that would require a special rider for insurance to cover abortion. I’m delighted to see people getting upset about it and pushing back. I wonder how many of us know that we’ve had that same law in Kentucky since 1978.
In Kentucky, insurance policies cannot cover abortion unless the woman’s life is endangered. Abortion can only be covered through a special rider, but there’s no provision in the law saying that companies have to offer that. I have no idea if they do or not.
So every client who comes up the sidewalk at the clinic has already had to find the money to cover the cost of the abortion. Some of the antis on the sidewalk like to taunt the male companions – “Be a man, stand up for your child, don’t pay for her to have an abortion!!”
That line creates an image in my mind ~ there’s a villain ~ you know, with a mustache, like in the old “tied to the railroad track” movies – holding the money over his head, just out of reach of the heroine. “No,” he’s saying, “I won’t pay for it,” while she ~ the damsel in distress ~ pleads with him for help. A silly image, but it flashes through my mind every time I hear them hit that patriarchal note.
“Don’t PAY for them to take your baby’s life,” Angela screams. Emphasis on “pay” as if that makes it worse, or has some special significance. Maybe they think it does.
After all, “Come next door,” they say, “Where we care about you. Where it’s all free.”
“It’s free.” As if the people coming to the clinic are just shopping around for options ~ “Oh, wait – there’s a bargain over here – forget this abortion! Let me go access some bible study and get some diapers instead!! It’s all free!”
Of course, sometimes, the clients have trouble scraping together the funds for an abortion. That can mean she’s further along in the pregnancy before she can pay for it, and it might mean she needs a more complicated procedure. Which makes it more expensive. It’s just one of the barriers to access in Kentucky, but it’s a big one.
There are a couple of organizations in Kentucky that help with funding for abortions. If you’re interested in making a donation to them, feel free to email us. We’d be glad to help set that up.* If you can’t donate funds, there are lots of other ways to provide support – aside from escorting, which is not everyone’s cup of tea. Email us for information on that too.
If you can’t offer support directly, that’s ok. You can still help . Lots of people are stepping up to tell the story of their abortion, which helps reduce the stigma. We can all help by voicing our support for people who have abortions. The more of us who openly say we’re pro-access, the less stigma there will be, and the more power our pro-choice politicians have. That will help them support access in the legislature. So do what you can where you can ~ and maybe someday all insurance policies will cover abortion. Even in Kentucky.
(* NOTE: This is not an official fundraising effort – I just thought it was appropriate here.)