Abortion is Not a Tragedy. This Is.

I had a chance to speak before the Alabama legislature Wednesday on HB183, one of many anti-choice bills introduces this legislative session ahead of the budget.

Alabama law already requires women to be provided an ultrasound image prior to an abortion. This bill would require the doctor to describe the image in detail to the patient, even if she does not want to view it.

This bill would also require providers to give each woman “a written and oral statement divulging the abortion provider’s gross income from the previous fiscal year, as well as the percentage of that income which was obtained from the performance of abortions together with a statement concerning the monetary loss to the abortion provider which would result from the woman’s decision to carry the pregnancy to term.”

Are you fucking kidding me?

I suppose they believe doctors like Willie Parker, who gave up a thriving career in Chicago to perform abortions in the Deep South, are doing abortions for profit.  That could not be further from the truth. In reality, abortion providers maintain lower than average fees for service compared to providers in other specialties.

Personally, I think the ones who should be disclosing dollar amounts are the legislators who waste countless tax dollars in litigation defending unconstitutional legislation. The taxpayers should be provided this information at least 48 hours prior to elections, so we can have time to consider whether we really want to vote for these frivolous spenders, because we need to ensure voters are making informed decisions.

But of course our Republican legislators don’t want informed voters. They just want to traumatize, shame, and otherwise disenfranchise the women of this state.

Instead of expanding Medicaid or working to improve the health and well-being of the people of Alabama, they’re introducing bill after bill to restrict access to safe and legal abortion.

HB183 states “Abortion is a tragedy,” but that’s not true.

At the hearing, I told the story of a friend who, prior to Roe v Wade, found herself pregnant at the age of 16. She was scared, and she was not prepared to raise a child. She went to her mother, and her mother told her everything would be ok. Because there was a woman down the street who had some crochet hooks.

That is the real tragedy.

No woman should ever have to choose between becoming a teenage mother or risking her life at the end of a crochet hook.

Like all TRAP laws, HB183 is nothing more than an attempt to shame women and close clinics. Closing clinics won’t stop abortions. It will cause women to take drastic and unsafe measures to end their pregnancies.

Women die when safe, legal abortion is inaccessible.

Legislators – when you consistently vote in favor of legislation that puts women’s lives, health and safety at risk, you do not deserve to call yourselves “pro-life.”