Lack of Insurance Puts Pressure on Pregnant Woman to Abort

In the article “From Fence-Sitter to Activist” (which can be found here) a young woman describes the reasons why she became pro-life. She became pregnant while in college, and wanted to keep her baby. However, she ran into trouble due to her lack of health insurance.

“I arrived at the midwives’ clinic, which was in a local hospital. I reported for my appointment and was asked for my medicaid card. When I told them I was an uninsured college student, they told me that this was a clinic for medicaid patients. I begged. I pleaded. They sent me away.

I cried out in the parking lot. “They never flat out TELL you to have an abortion,” I sobbed to my husband, “but they make it very clear that they expect you to! They don’t offer you so much as a kind word!” I was heartbroken. Nobody cared about our baby. But a woman came running out of the hospital looking for us. Panting, she told us, “I’m glad I caught you before you left!” She introduced herself as one of the midwives. She assured me that she would make sure that I got proper prenatal care, and led us back inside. She took us to the financial office. There, she told a clerk to make payment arrangements for me, then send me back to the clinic. I never forgot the despair as I stood crying in the parking lot, or the relief and gratitude when the midwife reached out to me. I swore that I’d never leave a pregnant woman alone and despairing, as I had been.

Even with payment arrangements, we were nervous about the medical costs. I wondered if perhaps we could get some kind of catastropic insurance. We made an appointment. There, we were humiliated. The case worker counted our student loans as income, but didn’t count tuition and books as necessary expenses. We pleaded. We weren’t looking for full coverage — just emergency coverage in case something went wrong. We were told that we should have thought of this before I became pregnant. Back out in the parking lot I was furious. Again, they never outright TELL you to get an abortion, but they sure do make it plain what they expect. I hated the people who hated my baby.”

Extending health coverage to the uninsured, and making prenatal care and birth affordable for everyone will drastically cut the abortion rate. As this woman says, many pregnant women have nowhere to turn.

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Author: Sarah

Sarah Terzo is a writer for Live Action and a member of the board of The Pro-life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians and Consistent Life. She lives in NJ.

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