Abortion Must Be Safe, Legal, And SoonCommentary • Unsponsored • ISSUE 50•19 • May 13, 2014 By Elizabeth Gatley It’s been over four decades since the Supreme Court established a woman’s constitutional right to choose. One would think that by now American women who wish to obtain an abortion, whatever their reason, would be able to do so without government interference and without delay. But sadly, this is not the case. That is why we must fight—not next month or next week, but today—to ensure abortion is safe, legal, and soon.It is vitally important that women in this country be able to receive the reproductive health services they need in a clinic that is clean, judgment-free, and still taking appointments for this week.Let’s get serious: It’s 2014. A woman seeking to terminate her pregnancy shouldn’t be subjected to mandatory in-person counseling sessions followed by a waiting period of 24 hours or more. There are women who definitely, definitely cannot wait that long. The time to improve access to clinics, which hopefully have some slots open around 2:30 tomorrow, is now.Like, right now.A lot of women can’t afford an unplanned child. If someone in this situation can’t get a safe, legal abortion in the very immediate future, what would you suggest she do? Honestly, what would you suggest? Because maybe this isn’t the right time for her to become a mother, especially if Target keeps cutting back on her hours the way they have been this year. Or maybe she’s not that serious with the father, and it’s not like he’d make a good dad anyway.The government should keep its hands off women’s bodies—period. Instead we have politicians trying to stop private insurance providers from covering abortions. Seriously? What on earth makes them think they have the right to do that? These are decisions that must be made by each individual woman herself, either in dialogue with her partner or on her own in her apartment when the goddamn Clearblue Easy comes back positive—not the government. It’s bad enough that Aetna’s only going to pay for half the procedure, anyway; we don’t need a bunch of old men in Washington making things even worse.We must also make sure women are able to walk into abortion clinics without fear of harassment or attacks from sidewalk protesters. Some women have already been through a two-hour shouting match with Tony, and they certainly don’t need a lecture from the morality police delaying them even further.In addition, states need to stop passing laws that effectively reduce the number of clinics out there. That way women won’t have to spend as much time traveling to get the quality, expert care they need, which would mean the whole procedure could be done during a lunch break, ideally.Overall, the less waiting in long lines, the better. Also, forms that are easy to understand and can be filled out pretty quickly would be really helpful, too. Considering a woman will probably hit traffic both there and on her way back, the last thing she needs is to get stuck for another 45 minutes to an hour in the waiting room at this place. And if I-35 is more backed up than usual near the interchange with the Kilpatrick Turnpike, and she’s running a lot later than expected, the clinic needs to squeeze her in anyway, because she’s definitely not going to have any sick days left after this.Only when America has abortion clinics that are legal, staffed by capable professionals, and available to everyone on admittedly short notice can we ensure that no woman in this country ever has to be faced with the agonizing choice of continuing a pregnancy she is in no way prepared for or taking this bottle of pills I found.So let’s come together as a nation and make this happen. For the last time, I promise.