I was floating around the blog world yesterday and a person who opposes legal abortion screamed at me that “THE ABORTIONISTS ONLY DO IT FOR THE MONEY!” 

Abortion became legal in this country on January 22, 1973 (the same day LBJ died).  Prior to that, there were a handful of states (NY,CAL) that allowed abortion under certain circumstances and there were a few abortion facilities in those states.   So, women from all over the country were flying to those clinics and the staff was working seven days a week to meet the demand.  And, yes, with so many patients to care for, the physicians and clinic owners made a decent living.  That’s capitalism, right? 

Once abortion was legalized more clinics started opening up but, still, because of the incredible demand for the service, those newer clinic were turning a profit as well.    

In the early days, the average cost of an abortion was about $250.  Here’s the kicker:  today the average cost is only about $400.  If inflation were taken into account, the cost would be well over $1,000. 

Think about that for a second.  A woman goes to a clinic, spend several hours doing paperwork, taking medical tests and getting counseling.  She then has the surgery from a licensed physician and is given as much time as she needs to recover.   She is free to come back and discuss any issues that may have arisen.    All of this for about $400 (in some cities, the prices are as low as $230).  Meanwhile, the clinic has to pay for staff, security, compliance with state regulations and medical equipment.   Geez, Louise, you can’t get a root canal for $400.   

The fact is that the doctors and staff who work at these clinics have kept their prices artificially low to make abortion accessible to as many women as possible.   They talk to the women, they understand their circumstance and, well, most of them are just plain ole “softies.”   I know some physicians who have gone without a paycheck because their prices are so artificially low.  Indeed, there are clinics that will perform an abortion for free if they feel that the woman is in a truly desperate situation.

Everyone is entitled to make a living and the workers at the clinic deserve the same.  Yes, in many clinics they are “making money,” albeit not a lot.  And, while they are making these sacrifices trying to serve women, they are also living with the possibility that when they are handed that paycheck, a bomb could go off. 

These doctors, nurses, counselors and others could make a better living in a safer environment. 

They are to be applauded for their sacrifice.