Burden of Proof: March 7, 2017

Dear Mr. VP,

Remember this displeased look from yesterday?

I’m still giving it to you.

To requote an NPR story:

“The bill includes a couple of provisions to please abortion opponents. Tax credits won’t be available to pay for insurance policies if they include abortion coverage.”

Yes, I suppose you nuanced this a little: if a person could die because of their pregnancy or it resulted from rape or incest, that can be covered by insurance that you can get tax credits for purchasing.

Wow. Thanks for being so reasonable.

This means insurance companies have essentially no reason to cover abortions, and probably won’t. It also means that people are now going to be faced with proving something if they want to access reproductive healthcare. 

Let’s say a person is raped by a family member. They want an abortion. What’s the burden of proof? Can a patient just tell a doctor this confidentially and have an abortion approved? Or do they need to make a formal accusation to the police? What if making a formal accusation places the patient in danger? Which is very likely if the person is being abused. 

Is a formal accusation enough? Or does someone need to be found guilty of raping the patient before an abortion is allowed? Do you know how long that could take? Or the chances of it actually happening? 

And by the time someone is convicted, or pleads guilty, what are the chances a patient is still in their first trimester, when abortions are safest and cheapest and easiest to obtain?

None of that sounds very reasonable to me. In fact, it sounds to me like you’re trying to make it impossible for anyone without financial means to access abortion — including people who have been raped. 

Does anyone else feel like they’re watching an episode of Sick Sad World?


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