Provider Appreciation

By Sally Isaacson        

I want you to know that I am “pro-life”. I am for the women who choose to be mothers. I am for the women who decide that now is not the time to bring a new being into their life. I am for supporting all women as they move through life making choices about school, careers, relationships – even if it means postponing motherhood.

I spend my work hours as an accountant at an evidenced-based program that pairs specially trained nurses with first-time low, income moms during their pregnancy. The nurse makes frequent home visits during pregnancy and through the child’s second birthday. This program sees many improvements in the outcome for the family as a whole and especially the children. My evenings are spent working to raise money for The Freedom Fund. I want every woman to have good support for whatever option they choose. I believe this is truly being pro-life.

Just as our last newsletter was being mailed we heard of the shooting at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs. This reminds us of how brave and courageous our abortion providers and their staffs are. The shooting was the most extreme form of violence, yet the constant harassment both in person and via social media is a form of violence also. Join the Freedom Fund in thanking them. If you don’t know them personally – then send up a prayer of gratitude for their service.

Reprinted from our Spring Newsletter

“Everyone is special”

By Leah Marvin-Reilly
That was the kid’s version of the first Unitarian Universalist principle that I learned when I was six years old. The adult version is this: The inherent worth and dignity of every person. This is just one of 7 values that I grew up striving to uphold and incorporate into my life, and the inherent worth and dignity of every person is exactly why I am part of the Freedom Fund. There is not a single human in the world who can truly know what it is like to be another person, so why do we have this constant struggle to allow people to make their own choices? As someone who works in state government I see the blatant attacks on a woman’s choice that for some reason recur year after year. While there are uninformed people who would attempt to take control of other people’s lives, there are also people who will take a stand and stop this from going on. I am part of the Freedom Fund because I want to be able to use my voice and my resources to move beyond hate and beyond judgment. To me, this is to practice another UU principle: justice, equity and compassion in human relations. It is easy to think that I’m never making a big enough difference, but every few hundred dollars that we can raise, and every minute that I invest into planning events and creating community, empowers aperson to exercise their right to make their own reproductive choices.

From our Spring Newsletter

Doors Close on 1.5 Clinics a Week

That slam you heard was the doors of another abortion clinic closing. In 2005, there were just under 600 free-standing abortion clinics providing health care to many women across the nation. The outpatient care model was designed to keep the procedure more affordable while providing high quality care.

These clinics have been subject to ever increasing requirements – requirements created by legislatures to “protect women.” These are often called TRAP laws (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers). These laws impose requirements on the clinic that include having halls wide enough to have a gurney move sideways down them, larger janitorial closets, and increasing staffing beyond current situations. Ultimately, each of these requirements increases the cost of the procedure.

Simultaneously, one must add in the costs of keeping up with technology, (i.e. electronic medical records), and the current move toward consolidation of services. When you combine all of this with lower insurance reimbursement rates, you have circumstances that make it impossible to provide affordable care to pregnant people seeking abortions. This has led to 1.5 abortion clinics closing each week – leaving us now with less than 400 nationwide. Some states, like Texas and Wisconsin, are also trying to impose a new requirement for physicians providing abortion services that says they need to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. Which, all too often, will not be granted due to the ideology of those hospitals, or because abortion care is so safe that these doctors will not admit enough patients to the hospital. This means patients are travelling longer distances, while still facing more barriers to health care.  

New clinics are not opening because fewer and fewer physicians or nurse practitioners are being trained in abortion procedures. In one survey, 55 percent of medical schools offered students no clinical exposure to abortion. The following states of Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Texas, have laws in place that restrict or ban abortions in publicly funded institutions. Thus, how can future physicians decide they want to provide abortions if they have never seen one? Those who do decide to become abortion providers settle in places where state laws and communities are friendlier toward abortion. That leaves pregnant people in rural areas, or strongly anti-abortion communities or states, without access.

Consequently, America finds herself at a moral crossroad of whether or not to care for those most in need of healthcare. The next election could move us in the right direction.

Reprinted from our Spring Newsletter

Thank You!

A huge thank you to everyone who has donated to #EndHyde and #EndHelms!

And also a big thank you to Jess Mason Pieklo for putting this together and running the Bolder Boulder to raise money for abortion access!