I’m Lucky: I Don’t Need An Abortion in Arizona… For Now

I’m lucky.

Right now, were I to find myself pregnant, none of Arizona’s abortion restrictions — current or recently enjoined— would pose burdens severe enough to prohibit me from obtaining the care I sought. I’m not a minor, I live in the same city as the closest abortion provider, and I have a job where taking 2 consecutive days of sick leave doesn’t jeopardize my employment status.

Like I said, I’m lucky.

For now.

Four years ago, this wouldn’t have been the case. I was still legally an adult, but I was in an emotionally abusive relationship and without a highway safe car of my own. I had no support network — zero local friends and a then-partner who would likely have actively tried to prevent me from obtaining an abortion. And I lived in a city that didn’t have an abortion provider of any kind (and still does not have a provider of surgical abortions) and was, in fact, something like 175 miles away from the nearest abortion provider.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, as of 2005, only about 27% of Arizona counties had abortion providers. That’s an access issue in itself. It’s further compounded when one realizes… that 175 miles I mentioned? That represents being one county over from abortion access.

For some Arizona women, obtaining an abortion already means finding transportation, paying for a tank or more of gas, and making a full day (or possibly even 2 day) trip for the procedure. It may also mean taking unpaid time off work or arranging for childcare. Adding a 24-hour waiting period to the already substantial time and expense may make the burden unmanageable for some. As Bryan Howard, president of Planned Parenthood Arizona, explained, "A woman coming from Yuma County would spend an average $523.08 in additional costs since services will not be available in her community."

And last I checked, neither gas stations nor cheap motels operate on sliding scales.

Because this provision may affect a relatively small proportion of women — Guttmacher puts the figure at 16% — it can be tempting to dismiss its importance. But the people this restriction will affect the most are the people whose access is already the most in jeopardy: people who live far from abortion providers and who may struggle to find the resources to get there once, let alone twice. Access to health care, including abortion, means meaningful access for everyone. Right now, with these restrictions, we don’t have it.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m thrilled that the judge blocked any provisions of this bill at all. But I do think it’s important to recognize that even with the preliminary injunction in effect, the net effect of this law is to further limit abortion access.

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  • invalid-0

    You’re absolutely right.

  • elm

    How many times do you think you will need access to the abortionist in your lifetime?


    Are you planning on using this as your birth control? Do you think that the American taxpayers should have to foot the bill for your using this as birth control even if they know it stops a beating heart and  it is murder?


    Perhaps the government could put a mill in at the mall. Then you could do one stop shopping without any encumbrances.


    Do you think there are enough abortionists in the US to be able to make sure that all women have access to having their children’s lives ended right out their back doors or just down the street?
    Many legitimate establishments are not real keen on having an abortionist as a neighboring business.


    Even fellow doctors do not want to rub shoulders with them. Can’t you just see them at a cocktail party. “You should have seen the baby I suctioned out today, he was In a million pieces." "You should have seen him flip and flop to get out of the way of the curette.”


    Is a nurse practitioner qualified to do any other surgery besides abortion? It seems that allowing these medical practitioners to do invasive surgery such as abortions says a lot about how the medical field views this procedure. Push it off on someone with less status.


    It seems from what you write that having abortions is not a cheap endeavor, what with motels and gasoline, and needing a well running car, days off work, child care for those children you chose to let live. How does a mother explain that to her little ones, "Excuse me Susie, I have to leave you with the baby sitter so I can go "off" your little brother or sister."


    It would make one think that perhaps avoiding intercourse and therefore pregnancy until you are ready to raise a child would be the best option, especially since birth control failure is the number one reason given for most abortions. No one has ever died from abstaining from sex.


    I suppose that the public school system teaches in Arizona the fact that sexual intercourse is the number one leading cause of babies. It just amazes me how many people do not understand this simple fact of biology.


    It is a shame that even one child has to die so we can live as we want.

  • frolicnaked

    Do you think that the American taxpayers should have to foot the bill
    for your using this as birth control even if they know it stops a
    beating heart and  it is murder?

    This question makes a lot of assumptions, given that I didn’t mention either using abortion as a primary method of birth control or taxpayers funding abortion. 


     It would make one think that perhaps avoiding intercourse and therefore
    pregnancy until you are ready to raise a child would be the best option…

    Again, we’re talking a lot of assumptions here. It assumes that you have the right to apply your judgment about sexual activity out into the rest of the world. Some people never want to have children, even after they’re married. Does it follow that they should also never have sexual intercourse?


    Additionally, as I explained was the case for me at one point in my life, we don’t always get to choose when and how and with whom we’re sexually active. It sucks, and it shouldn’t happen, definitely, but that doesn’t change the fact that it does


    I’m happy to have a thoughtful discussion about this topic, but that can’t happen until you check your assumptions. 

  • ack

    It is a shame that your post did not contain any actual arguments or points to discuss. I hope writing it was cathartic for you, so that something good came of its existence.