Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Inmate foeti

Court ruling today makes Missouri's unique policy of denying women prisoners the option to have an abortion obsolete for now:

At issue was a policy against helping prisoners obtain abortions. In the summer of 2005, the state abandoned a long-standing policy of providing transportation and guards for inmates wanting abortions, except in cases where the inmate's life or health was endangered. The state cited costs and security concerns.

Getting the Jane Doe in this instance to a clinic in St. Louis cost about $350 for the van and guards. Nationally, the average price for a first-trimester abortion (medical or surgical) is $350 to $700, so this was about a thousand-dollar event.

Apparently between 35 and 50 women inmates in Missouri are pregnant on any given day.

Would providing more abortions be too expensive?

The recent explosion of "meth mouth" in our prisons already is requiring a surge in inmate dental care, especially for dentures to replace speed-rotted teeth, though this hasn't resulted overall in a significant cost increase:

In Missouri, such major dental work at state facilities is subcontracted by the company that handles inmates' medical care. The state currently pays $7.50 per day per prisoner for health care, regardless of what's needed, so no major cost increase has been incurred.

However, letting incarcerated women do what non-incarcerated women can legally do, is against our "traditional Missouri values," according to the governor.

What is the sanctity of life?

Admittedly, it's gross to picture the racists and righteous creeps chuckling to themselves about "who's gonna want to take care of a prisoner AND her baby, go ahead, let them abort. . .they were probably sired by some loser anyway - they're probably on drugs," I still think that if a woman who finds herself both in a family way and in "the system," she should be able to get out of the 18-year term part, at least, if she wants to.


Susan said...

this burns me up - but then all the reductions on choice rights burn me up. Next is the big nun headgear and a _Handmaid's Tale_ cloak, unless one is barren or too old that is.

btw I'm mortified I forgot your bday Tracy. Please forgive me! Hope it was happy - please ask Gear to give you a hug for me. :)

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