No Abortion Unless You Post Bail

A women in Oregon has been placed in custody while awaiting a trial for arson and disorderly conduct after allegedly dousing herself with paint thinner and lighter fluid in a motel room.  The woman, who is being treated for mental health issues while being held, has requested an abortion in a nearby town, but so far the request has been denied unless she comes up with $6500 — 10 percent of the $65,000 in bail being requested as she may be a “flight risk.”

Via the News Register:

At the hearing, Brown testified that Burkholder appeared to be suffering from mental illness when she was lodged. She had shown clear improvement under psychiatric medication prescribed at the jail, Brown said, but in her opinion, continued to pose a risk for herself and others.

Prosecutor Michael Videtich also opposed any conditional release. He said Burkholder had no ties to Yamhill County, thus posed a flight risk.

“Also, this isn’t a scenario where there is a medical emergency,” he told Collins. “I understand that there is a timeline, but it’s not an emergency.

“This is an elective procedure she has a right to have. But she can post bail.”

Burkholder objected to that assertion. “This is an emergency,” she told the judge.

Under questioning from Collins, Burkholder said that she has been under mental health treatment in the past and would like to receive additional care. She told Collins that she does not understand why the jail cannot simply provide her with transportation to and from her appointment.

But Crabtree said that would not be something he would undertake on his own initiative.

“I’m waiting for a court order to release her, period,” he said. “I’m not going to do it unless I have a court order. I’m not going to risk her life, or find out later that I allowed her to go do something that she was not capable of making a decision on.”

And there is the real issue — she is suffering from mental health issues, so the court has decided that she is not capable of making a decision about wanting an abortion.  But somehow, if she had the $6500 to post bail, she could be allowed to decide for herself.

Yet again we learn that only a woman with financial resources has the right to terminate a pregnancy.

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  • marilenamarchetti

    Money may buy access to an abortion but it won’t make it free of stigma.  That’s unacceptable.  The hateful idea that women cannot be trusted to make decisions about their own reproduction is institutionalized as policy in this case and elsewhere.  Women receiving public aid have restricted access to abortion.   Women in the military never receive abortion coverage, not even in the case of rape.  Roe v. Wade is on the books but it is losing it’s meaning.  Demonizing and infantilizing women who want abortions is done to justify budget cuts to all sorts of social programs that meet the needs of women and families.  We need a women’s movement to tell the fools posing as protectors of our constitutional rights that if they keep throwing us under the bus they will lose their jobs.  We need to make demands to keep our health care programs funded even if it means taxing the rich (god forbid).  We need to make some more damn noise.       

  • cangelina

    It’s the most basic biological characteristic of our bodies – reproduction.  For any European country, this is a medical issue, not a moral one.

    The bottom line is that every nuance of every argument comes down to people not believing that our reproductive organs are a basic component of our health, despite the fact that an evolutionary approach would make reproduction the *most* fundamental component of our health and a fundamentalist approach would claim to value having healthy children above all else.  As an example, my insurance company covers my health, in theory.  They even pay for one annual “wellness visit”. However, if I make any complaint, such as heavy cramping, they deny the claim, because apparently I was unwell, and it wasn’t routine.  What they will not pay for is anything to do with my fertility treatments.  Because according to them, fallopian tubes are not something I need in good health, and being healthy enough to conceive is *elective* – requiring more money that the outrageous sum I already pay.  It’s funny that it is viewed as a choice when the people that indemnify your health would have to payout, but it’s not a choice if the outcome doesn’t jibe with someone’s religious morals.  

    Yes, it’s both class eugenics and meant to limit upward mobility, but it’s also, broadly based on some unarticulated myth that our vaginas want to swallow the puffy midwestern white man whole and never let them see the light of day. We need to demystify reproduction.  I’m wondering what would happen if someone placed a billboard of childbirth in action in proximity to these anti-female, “pro-life” organizations? We need to find a way to put the health back in reproductive health.  And maybe, as a nation, we can gain a little mental health. Roe v. Wade isn’t enough.  It’s a question of equal access to medical care, and freedom from religion.  

  • beenthere72

    vaginas want to swallow the puffy midwestern white man whole


    Conjures up images of an animated scene from Pink Floyd’s The Wall, doesn’t it?


  • carolrhill814

    This woman needs mental help when this child is born I hope that this baby will be given up to adoption because there are a lot of people out there that wants a baby but that will be up to her that is if she will decide to do so because this baby didn’t ask to be born and I guess she or he will be born into a world that she knows NOTHING about and hopefully she will be raised by wonderful people.