Price of Abortion

Making Money from Abortion

For as long as I can remember, anti-abortion advocates have screamed about how the owners of the abortion clinics and the doctors who work in them have made tons of money off the “killing of babies.”  I have always found it interesting that these mostly conservative, Republican, business-oriented folks have taken such an anti-capitalist point of view, but that’s beside the point.

What also interested me was how the anti-abortion crowd could make such statements when I am confident that they probably do not know any of the doctors or owners personally, but why should that stop them from taking one (possibly true) anecdote and making such broad generalizations?   On the other hand, my comments are based on my extensive, personal interactions with hundreds of these folks – and when I say “personal” I mean that I have spent times in their homes, have gotten to know their families and, thus, have gotten a very good sense of the kind of money they make.

Years ago, when abortion first became legal, the owners and doctors made a significant amount of money.  And that was because in the very beginning there just weren’t that many clinics.  Women were travelling hundreds of miles to get to a state like New York that had a clinic or two.  There were charter planes bringing women to those facilities in NY, California and Colorado.  So, those clinics were filled with hundreds of women each week.  The average price for a first trimester abortion was $250 in the early days, so you do the math.  They made a lot of money because of the high demand and the relatively few facilities.

Over the years, however, more and more clinics opened up their doors and the patients started to spread out to take advantage of a clinic that was closer to their home.  Thus, the number of patients going to those large clinics in New York and the other states started to shrink.  Then, sometime in the 1980’s or so, the number of clinics exploded in certain states.  In cities like Detroit, Atlanta, Dallas and Los Angeles, they were all over the place.  The competition for the patients became intense.

Now, I will tell you that I have visited some very nice homes over the years, that’s for sure.  But, for the most part the owners of the abortion clinics live in middle-upper middle class neighborhoods, as do the doctors. I have no idea what the salary was (or is) for the average doctor but I can tell you in many cases it was just about what any ob-gyn would get per year.  I mean, after all, they are doctors.

On the other hand, I also stayed on the couches of several owners who had some very modest homes.    After the “old boys” of the early days started to die out or move aside, a new cadre or owners, particularly young women, took over and their life styles were nothing like their predecessors.  Indeed, I recall two or three owners who actually lived in the basement of their clinics.

Today, the average cost of an abortion is about $400.  If inflation were taken into account, the cost should be more like $1,000.  But the price of an abortion has been kept artificially low because there are many owners who want to keep the procedure accessible for those in need and, yes, because of competition.   At the same time, I have seen many instances where the doctor performed an abortion for free or at a reduced priced if the patient was in very dire circumstances.  Remember, while these folks are businesspeople, they are also good bleeding heart liberals who want to help those in need.

I guess for me the bottom line is that abortion is a business that was created because women demanded the services.  And it’s a medical business that requires the purchase of medical equipment, security cameras, malpractice insurance and the payment of staff salaries.  So, I hate to disappoint the anti-abortion crowd but this true medical procedure requires that the doctors charge something to make it available to the next woman.   And, please, before anyone who works at a crisis pregnancy center tells me that they work for free and charge nothing for their “services,” spare me the comparison.  Talking to a woman about abortion in a small room CAN be done for free (which makes me wonder why many of the cpcs need government grants).  When they start having a need for a physician who will perform a medical procedure, then we can compare notes.

Debate

I’ve been so tempted to wait until tomorrow to post another (award-winning blog) that ultimately turns out to be a cruel April Fool’s joke but I cannot wait – I must opine!

According to the statistics, more and more people are reading this blog. That’s pretty cool. Still, it seems that there are only a handful of people who actually then step up to comment on my thoughts or stories. I don’t know what that means. I frankly wish there were hundreds of comments to my posts but I’m told that people generally are just too shy or too intimidated to chime in.

As the moderator of the threads, I try to be as objective as possible. Although I am firmly pro-choice, I have expressed certain concerns, reservations, etc. about the world of abortion. I am also not shy about complaining about the pro-choice organizations. I think I am blunt to a fault. Indeed, when I was a “public figure” in the abortion rights movement that bluntness got me into trouble on a nunber of occasions.

Since I am available and blunt, I am curious why we don’t have more in-depth conversations about the actual abortion process. Whenever the opportunity has arisen, I have candidly talked about how abortions are performed and in what venue.  I have made a number of rather interesting admissions on this blog and am anxious to answer anything else.  But it just seems to me that the “debate” on our threads often degenerates into a series of nanny-nanny poo-poo comments or a game of “gotcha” designed to try to embarrass the other side. Indeed, I have been caught up in this silliness at times myself.

So, someone says she works at a crisis pregnancy center and some pro-choicers immediately respond by saying ALL cpcs are deceitful, that they intimidate women, that – and here’s the big leap – they condone anti-abortion terrorism. People just sit in front of their computers and attack, attack, attack, barraging the opposition with persistent, inane questions or comments. Then, the pro-lifer comes back and attacks, attacks, attacks. I share my truly confusing feelings about former Senator Bob Packwood and pro-lifers see an opportunity to point out some hypocrisy on my part. Well, they’re absolutely right – at times I am a hypocrite. I guess that’s because I just don’t always have the answers. So, sometimes I just don’t know what the hell to say. Sue me!

In another part of my life, I run a Facebook page that poses the “political question of the day.” I ask what people think about Libya, taxes, legalizing marijuana, etc. And 99 percent of the time, people just reply with a monosyllabic answer. It’s

Questions and Answers

“yes” or “no” to them – that’s it. They are just so right and the others are just so wrong. It is very, very rare when someone comes back and asks a follow up question to try to formulate a more educated position. No, we’re just locked in, our feet are stuck in the ground, no one is gonna call me a wimp or, worse, a flip-flopper.

So it is that some pro-lifers will just continue standing outside an abortion clinic, yelling through a bullhorn at women entering the facility. As far as they are concerned, those women are about to murder their babies and it’s their mission to stop them if possible. It’s their way or the highway. I’m right and they are wrong. This dynamic is reflected throughout our society in so many venues. It is particularly evident in the Halls of Congress where absolutely nothing gets done because you’re either right or wrong and I don’t wanna hear what you have to say.

So, I wanna say that I welcome the participation of folks like “Mary” and “Rogie” to our threads. I have appreciated their willingness to opine and to listen. Sure they (and we) can all get a little testy but it is my hope that we can continue having a true dialogue and get away from the dueling invectives. My hope is that we can try to at least understand our opposition and base our positions on agreed-upon facts (not the “facts” spewed out by our national organizations that only benefit from the continuing abortion “war”).

To that end, I stand ready to answer any question as best as I can about why I am pro-choice and what I know about the abortion process that is experienced by over one million women each year.

Abortion 12th & Delaware

Abortion

Abortion Care Network (ACN)

DON’T MISS the Award Winning HBO Documentary, 12th and Delaware, Monday August 2, at 8 pm Eastern Time.  This extraordinary documentary shines a light on a national disgrace–the proliferation of so called Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCS).  CPCS advertise as if they are abortion clinics to trick women who are seeking abortion services into hearing lies and half-truths designed to coerce them to continue pregnancies. Starting in the early 1980’s a network of these centers was set up all over the United States.

Though it can be difficult for a woman to find a real abortion/family planning clinic near her, there are thousands of CPCS. In this documentary Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing, producers of Jesus Camp,  have captured an unscripted look at a CPC and how women are treated there—and at the abortion clinic across the street and  how women are treated there.   Whatever your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs about abortion, don’t miss this unique opportunity to let both ‘sides’ speak for themselves.

Please forward this to everyone on your e-mail list and invite friends over to watch.