Editor, The Messenger,

Approximately one out of every four women in America will have an induced abortion before her 45th birthday. It is important to recognize that induced abortion is health care, that abortions are legal in every state and are safer than carrying a pregnancy to term. Eighty-eight percent of induced abortions occur within the first twelve weeks, with medication abortion accounting for almost 40%. Over 90% of counties in Ohio do not have any clinics that provide abortion care and over half of Ohio’s women live in counties without access to abortion care.

Many women who seek abortion care in Ohio routinely face several obstacles. The cost of an abortion depends on gestational age and the type of procedure. Most abortion care is available for between $500 and $1,000. Greater distances to facilities that provide abortion care are associated with increased burden. Such burden includes higher out-of-pocket costs for food, lodging and child care. Women must also contend with burdens associated with lost wages due to time away from their jobs.

Restrictions that target the provision of abortion care, combined with the often-insurmountable burden placed on women seeking abortion care results in the denial of services to an estimated 4,000 women in the US each year. Such women are therefore forced to carry unwanted pregnancies to term or to seek unregulated pregnancy termination outside the safety of our healthcare system.

Many Ohioans are forced to forgo meals, risk eviction and to pawn their possessions to raise money for an abortion. Some are forced to continue the pregnancy, abandon their education, and stay trapped in poverty.

Women Have Options Ohio (WHO/O) is Ohio’s statewide abortion fund. Since 1992, WHO/O has provided financial assistance and practical support (transportation, housing, etc.) to help Ohioans afford contraception and abortion care services. WHO/O distributes funds directly to clinics throughout Ohio, which in turn offer financial assistance to those in need. Most of its resources come from individual donors. Every donation, no matter how small, has a tremendous impact on a woman’s life.

Jackie O’s Pub & Brewery in Athens, Ohio will be hosting Women Have Options Ohio for a Reproductive Health Happy Hour from 5-7 p.m. on March 20, 2020. A portion of the proceeds raised during the happy hour will benefit WHO/O and, in turn, the many Ohioans who depend on its assistance. I hope to see you there.

Zander Curtis

Gallipolis, OH

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