Opinion | Susan Knopf: They cost us money | SummitDaily.com

Opinion | Susan Knopf: They cost us money

Susan Knopf / Summit Daily News

If you live in Summit County, and you need an abortion procedure, you’ll have to drive and take some time off work. No abortion procedures are performed in Summit County.

Your medical provider can write a prescription for the abortion pill therapy. Go to our online edition to follow a link to Planned Parenthood’s video explanation of this therapy.

A lack of local medical services costs us money. If you live in a state where abortion is illegal or highly restricted, your costs go up exponentially.

Cobalt, Colorado’s pro-choice advocacy group says the group’s abortion expenditures more than tripled from a year ago. Cobalt’s communication consultant Laura Chapin sent out an email this week detailing where the money went.

Draw a line on the calendar. The Supreme Court issued the Dobbs decision on June 24, 2022, ending a woman’s right to choose, overturning Roe v. Wade, the law since 1973. Fifty years of rights were taken away by Trump’s right wing appointees, who lied to the Senate claiming they support stare decisis, case law precedent.

Since Dobbs, Cobalt’s expenses rose dramatically. Cobalt’s Abortion Fund Director Amanda Carlson, wrote in the email “The day of the Dobbs decision, our case load tripled. That volume has only increased and we expect (it) to keep doing so.”

Last year Cobalt spent nearly $700,000 to support needy women seeking support for abortion services. In 2021, before Dobbs, total expenditures were just over $200,000. That’s a half million more.

For the record, according to Pew Research, 61% of Americans believe abortion should be legal.

Biggest change in expense came in the category of practical support. Of the 640 practical support clients in 2022, 49 were from Colorado. Texas women seeking help accounted for more than two-thirds of the aid given. Other women needing practical assistance came from Oklahoma, Nebraska and even as far as Puerto Rico, according to Chapin.

In 2022, Cobalt Abortion Fund reports it spent nearly $222,000 on practical support, compared to just $6,000 in 2021. That’s the Dobbs effect. Our hard earned money is being spent to help women who are being denied their rights in their home states. A number of Summit County locals support Cobalt and its efforts to support women and families.

Fund director Carlson wrote, “I think what these numbers really highlight is the domino effect of abortion bans. Mandatory waiting periods, making an appointment with a fake clinic, being forced to take time off work and find childcare to travel to another state, all result in stress, trauma, lost wages and also increased gestation when seeking care. People are being pushed into later gestations due to travel complications and also appointment availability with our inundated abortion providers.”

I called a Basalt clinic which only offers abortion pill therapy, and only up to six weeks, six days. The waiting time is one to two weeks to be seen. They require patients come in person so they can check the pregnancy by ultrasound.

If you want a free ultrasound you can get that in Summit County at the Women’s Resource Center, but they don’t refer for abortions. According to Progress Now, a member of a reproductive justice coalition, the WRC is an anti-abortion center.

Cobalt reports there are 2.8 anti-abortion centers for every real medical clinic that performs abortions. When I called the women’s resource center last year, they denied being an anti-abortion center. 

Cobalt is very concerned about unlicensed anti-abortion clinics that often distribute false information. Legislation is being introduced this session to fight these centers’ deceptive practices. 

The Cobalt Abortion Fund was established in 1984 by the Unitarian Church. It was a response to the conservative political movement in Colorado which banned any public funds to be used for abortion.  

The Cobalt Abortion Fund claims to be the only independent abortion fund in Colorado. Chapin says Cobalt is 100% donor funded. She says the Cobalt Abortion Fund is a separate 501(c)(3) from the Cobalt pro-choice advocacy organization.

I support Cobalt. I also support common sense. For the record, Republicans cost us money. They talk about fiscal conservatism. Former Republican Rep. David Jolly pointed out, and Newsweek checked the math, that roughly 25% of the national debt occurred during Trump’s four years. Government COVID-19 expenditures created some debt, but the tax cut for the rich was a big part. Let’s work to keep more money in our pockets.

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