Experiment: How Long Does It Take a Privileged Woman to Get an Abortion?

Recently, it came to my attention that some people still believe that mandated 24+-hour waiting periods for abortions are necessary in order to prevent pregnant women from instantly deciding, without a thought, to abort, only to regret it later.

Imagine a woman finding out she is pregnant and before giving it any thought whatsoever she runs out and gets an abortion. What if she regrets it, and then has to deal with that emotional stress the rest of her life? [redacted reference to extreme self-harm]

Guy Who Was Just Asking Questions

Studies show that waiting periods very deeply harm those in need of an abortion and that anti-choicer “activism” is often what causes post-abortion regrets. Mandating waiting periods and ultrasounds exacerbates the very negative feelings that anti-choicers claim to be combating with such legislation. Being denied an abortion, which can result from waiting periods and other mandates on reproductive health, causes more regret and less relief.

Of course, all that aside, there are a lot of choices people make that they could deeply regret that they can make without a waiting period of any kind. There’s no waiting period of any kind for marriage in 29 out of the 50 states and one federal district of the United States. For some reason, the only decision being aggressively targeted for waiting-period legislation is the decision to terminate a pregnancy.

Let’s set all the facts aside for a moment, shall we, and consider whether the scenario described by the people so concerned for the well-being of the pregnant could even happen. Namely:

In an ideal situation, could the time elapsed between peeing on a stick and terminating a pregnancy consist of fewer than 24 hours?

I define my situation as “ideal” because:

  • I live in an area fairly well-saturated with Planned Parenthoods.
  • My state doesn’t require any waiting periods and has fairly few restrictions on abortion (although they keep trying to pass parental notification legislation and failing). Furthermore, it’s a medical marijuana state, and so I could presumably use MMJ for pain relief afterwards.
  • I own a car.
  • I come from an upper-middle-class background and graduated from university, therefore have a decent-paying job and access to credit, if I need to pay for an abortion before my next paycheck.
  • My job provides me with full healthcare coverage and five paid sick days a year. In addition, they’re nice enough to give requested unpaid time off, if necessary, without the threat of being fired over it.
  • I’m a generally healthy, able-bodied individual, well-educated in biology, with relatively regular menstrual cycles and no reproductive-health-affecting conditions, so I’d be able to figure out within a single cycle (21-25 days) that I was pregnant, unlike some.
  • I have access to the Internet via my phone, my work computer, and my home connection.
  • All of those who constitute my close social support system, including my partners, are 100% on-board with supporting my reproductive health choices.

All of these factors mean that I am much, much better off than many who need abortions. In the next few days, I will find out how long it takes me to find an abortion provider, schedule any necessary appointments, and have the procedure done.


Experiment: How Long Does It Take a Privileged Woman to Get an Abortion?

5 thoughts on “Experiment: How Long Does It Take a Privileged Woman to Get an Abortion?

  1. D

    I think the only women who could terminate a pregnancy within a day of finding out about it would also be ones that wouldn’t necessarily be in a situation where a law requiring such would have any bearing on them.

    Hope all goes well with your experiment.

  2. 2

    My waiting time since I decided to have an abortion: 4 years and counting.
    I made that decision a looooong time ago. I don’t need some administrator tell me to wait some X hours more.
    The “we need to prevent women from doing something stupid because they cannot be trusted conversation” reminds me of a conversation I once had with a friend.
    In Germany, outside of some narrow cases, you can’t get a legal abortion. You can get an illegal abortion that is not prosecuted within the first 12 weeks after conception BUT you need to get mandatory pro-life counselling. When I mentioned how patronizing I find that he told me the story of a colleague who got pregnant as a teen and whose parents told her that she needed to get an abortion and who regretted it and had she know the support she could have gotten she would have gone through with it, yadda yadda yadda.
    I pointed out that she was now suggesting that I, an adult women who already has a family with children and who knows very well what pregnancy, childbirth and parenthood means with somebody who is half a child…

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