In case you ever found yourself wondering how truly little Republican lawmakers understand about abortion and women’s healthcare, Alaska state Rep. David Eastman made things abundantly clear in a Wednesday interview with KTOO. Eastman claimed that women seek abortions for free vacations and travel opportunities.
“You have individuals who are in villages and are glad to be pregnant, so that they can have an abortion because there’s a free trip to Anchorage involved,” Eastman said.
At one point in the interview, he added:
“We’ve created an incentive structure where people are now incented to carry their pregnancy longer than they would otherwise and then take part in that when they wouldn’t otherwise be doing it. …
I can think of a case that was brought to our attention earlier this session where you had a family who was very glad to hear that their abortion had gone beyond a certain point, because they were going to be heading to Seattle.”
If Eastman is so concerned about abortions taking place later in the term, he would oppose waiting periods and medically unnecessary regulatory laws that shut down clinics and force women to travel, often out of state, to have the procedure.
And rather than amount to a free vacation as Eastman suggested in the interview, traveling to have an abortion out of state, if anything, incurs additional travel costs and can also delay the procedure. Late-term abortions are also substantially more expensive than having abortions earlier, and so waiting periods also amount to more costs to women, too. Women aren’t purposefully having late-term abortions, but often have no choice but to due to regulations pushed by lawmakers who oppose abortion that render crucial resources inaccessible.
Planned Parenthood has since responded to Eastman’s appalling claims. “To even suggest that women are benefiting off the very restrictions that the state has put in place as relates to second-trimester abortions is—it is a new low, even for Rep. Eastman,” spokeswoman Katie Rogers told NPR.
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