Your intrepid author believes that anytime a person wants an abortion, they should have access. However today we’re specifically looking at those abortions deemed “medically necessary.” For over 20 years, Montanans on Medicaid have had access to medically necessary abortion. Now, Republicans have proposed rule changes to make these life-saving procedures harder to get. Targeting the poorest Montanans, Republicans are inserting bureaucracy into our uteruses.
There are numerous reasons why a person may require an abortion. For example, a woman may miscarry. The fetus has died, but the body has not entirely expelled the dead tissue. This situation can quickly turn deadly, with the woman facing sepsis and death without swift medical intervention. Each pregnancy is as unique as the pregnant person, meaning that “medically necessary” abortion can take on many forms.
Now, Republicans want to violate our medical privacy by requiring irrelevant and deeply personal information. The suggested rule change would require the woman to disclose information such as previous pregnancies and live births. Can you imagine asking a person in a medical emergency to disclose all of their past losses before helping them? These questions are NOT medically necessary, and they don’t inform present treatment whatsoever. Rather, they are invasive big-government overreach. Women do not owe anyone information about their previous pregnancies, abortions, or stillbirths. Requiring them to disclose this serves no purpose beyond Orwellian government monitoring.
In addition to asking questions that are not the government’s fucking business, the rule change would limit who could provide the abortion. Nurse practitioners and physician assistants would no longer be covered. Eliminating these providers means many Montanans wouldn’t have access to the procedure at all. Rural healthcare is already tenuous and this change specifically targets those with the fewest resources.
If these hurdles weren’t enough, Republicans have one more measure to push us closer to dying in bathrooms and alleyways. They’re trying to require “pre-authorization” for this procedure. What happens when you add red-tape to a time sensitive medical procedure? A few things. The pregnant person dies, OR, the abortion takes place later in the pregnancy. That’s right. Republican Reps are creating rules that will actually increase the number of abortions taking place after the first trimester.
In my professional life, I’ve seen children as young as elementary-age become pregnant from rape and incest. What right do Republicans have to make children continue a pregnancy that their tiny child bodies cannot handle?
And what about those women who find out their fetus cannot survive, for a myriad or reasons? They’re going to make women carry unviable pregnancies longer. Although Republicans want to pretend that all abortion is a result of unprotected sex, that’s simply not reality. Many women have to abort babies that were very much loved, wanted, and planned for, due to medical issues that render the fetus incompatible with life.
And what about miscarriages? Ask any person who has ever miscarried, and they’ll tell you that continuing to carry their dead child in their body doesn’t help the situation. Not physically. Not emotionally. It’s not only deadly, its unspeakably cruel.
Touting themselves as champions of “small government” we see Republicans once again doing the opposite. They’re inserting themselves into our doctor’s offices and medical decisions, and they’re starting by victimizing the easiest target- the poor. Montanans on Medicaid deserve what we all deserve- access to medical care and privacy in our medical decisions. It’s time to tell Big Government Republicans to get the fuck out of our bodies.
Read more about the proposed rule changes here: https://montanafreepress.org/2022/12/23/montana-health-officials-propose-new-requirements-for-medicaid-abortion-coverage/