True story: My friend was for a time supporting young women facing unplanned pregnancy by living with them in a home, cooking for them, offering counselling and support. One of the young pregnant women decides she wants an abortion and asks for help in getting one. She needed a drive to the clinic. My friend said no–no drive. But, she said, you can continue to live here after the abortion as before. Ie. we are still supporting you but you will not get my practical aid in getting to the clinic. The girl was annoyed, but she accepted it. The small inconvenience caused her to reconsider. The end result was telling her boyfriend and parents, having the baby, and now, two years post birth, she is very happy with her choice.
Is it possible that a drive to the clinic truly prevented her from having an abortion? It seems so. My friend was willing to support in every meaningful way (food, and a roof over her head) regardless. But now we can welcome a new person in Canada and it seems my friend’s principled refusal to be involved with the clinic in any way is at least partly the cause.
Why do I tell this story?
Because the Globe is reporting that there are cost barriers to getting the morning after pill; it won’t be covered by most provincial plans due to a decision the drug company made. Cue the voices of folks saying this is prohibitive–and denies women their choice.
I hope so, is all this pro-life woman can say, I hope so. In spite of what the pro-abortion ideologues say, it is fairly easy to get an abortion. And the barriers that are there are valuable as it causes someone in a crisis moment to slow down. The moment of a crisis is not the time to be making big decisions, I’ve always said. One needs to know where one stands before that. (And that, in part, anyway, is a reason to blog on the matter.) But if a barrier as simple as money or a drive to the clinic prevents an abortion, how intent was the woman on that choice in the first place?
I think these little stories, of women who were going to abort, didn’t, and are now happy with their decision, are one of the best ways of getting our point across.For one thing, they are a sign of hope for women in crisis situations, proof that you can get through a crisis pregnancy without an abortion and be happy about it. On the other hand, they are proof positive of just how precarious the situation is. They are a good argument that there should be some barriers up around abortion, that women should have to jump through some hoops to get one. Those hoops are not meant to shame the women who are getting abortions–they are there to protect those women who are ambivalent about getting an abortion, but need a little bit of space to achieve clarity about what it is they want to do.
Andrea Mrozek says
Well put, Melissa. Thanks for this comment.