Women in Wisconsin Might Have to Wait 10 Weeks to Have an Abortion

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
June 4 2014 12:44 PM

Need an Abortion? Get in Line.

77159250-workers-at-a-planned-parenthood-clinic-hang-a-banner-to
The rare abortion clinic opening, in Illinois in 2007.

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

While the recent onslaught of medically unnecessary regulations designed to close abortion clinics have been incredibly successful at reducing abortion access in many red states, they have done nothing to reduce demand. What happens when fewer and fewer clinics are around to handle the unchanging need for abortion services? Waiting periods, it turns out.

Robin Marty of Talking Points Memo explains how the clinic crunch in the Midwest is creating an escalation of demand at the clinics that are still open. Wisconsin is in court fighting to protect yet another hospital admitting privileges bill, one that's expected to close one of the state's four abortion clinics: 

What clinics are left behind will overflow, as patients are forced to find their next closest option. In Wisconsin this has already been outed as a major concern. Planned Parenthood, the only other Milwaukee clinic, has stated that they already have a two to three week wait for patients to get in for terminations, and that if AMS is closed that wait will likely extend to eight to 10 weeks in order to handle the additional 2,500 patients a year.
Advertisement

As Marty points out, this will mean a drastic uptick in the number of patients who get second-trimester abortions. Women who are seeking second-trimester abortions are already more likely than women getting first-trimester procedures to be living in poverty, have health insurance obstacles, or have more chaos in their lives. Having to pull the money together, as well as plan for child care and travel, often delays an abortion as well. Now you have to add waiting periods to the entire process. 

Anti-abortion activists love to focus on later-term abortions to drum up support for their cause, highlighting recent bans on post-20 week abortions as a major victory in states like Kansas and Texas. However, as Marty's story shows, the bulk of new regulations are focused on eliminating access to earlier abortions, driving up demand for later procedures. For example, the explosion in laws trying to make it harder to get a medication abortion, which can only be performed in the first nine weeks of pregnancy. For people who claim to be appalled by later abortion, anti-choice activists sure are doing a lot of work trying to increase the number of them. 

Amanda Marcotte is a Brooklyn-based writer and DoubleX contributor. She also writes regularly for the Daily Beast, AlterNet, and USA Today. Follow her on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Technocracy

Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

I Am 25. I Don’t Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 21 2014 11:40 AM The U.S. Has Spent $7 Billion Fighting the War on Drugs in Afghanistan. It Hasn’t Worked. 
  Business
Business Insider
Oct. 21 2014 11:27 AM There Is Now a Real-life Hoverboard You Can Preorder for $10,000
  Life
Quora
Oct. 21 2014 11:37 AM What Was It Like to Work at the Original Napster?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 21 2014 11:34 AM Germans Really Are More Punctual. Just Ask Angela Merkel.
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 21 2014 10:43 AM Social Networking Didn’t Start at Harvard It really began at a girls’ reform school.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 21 2014 7:00 AM Watch the Moon Eat the Sun: The Partial Solar Eclipse on Thursday, Oct. 23
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.