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View Diary: Dred Scott, Explained: It's About Abortion (338 comments)

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  •  Having been a welfare mother (4.00)
    I can tell you that $300 can put something completely out of reach for someone who is struggling to come up with the money to buy toilet paper each month. When I was on welfare, my total monthly income was $395, plus $50 child support pass through, plus $200 food stamps. $200 was rent, for a single room for my daughter and myself. A good chunk went to maintaining my then-15-year-old Honda, and I was lucky to have that car. Add to that expenses for my daughter's clothing, etc. and there was little left over. I was so paranoid about getting pg as a single, low income mom that I ended up being celibate for 5+ years. And I had no real vices, unless you consider buying fabric a vice. For someone who has been smoking since age 14, any and all discretionary income is going into that. And someone who is in an addiction is a hell of a lot more likely to be in a situation where unplanned pregnancy is possible or likely.

    I was one of the lucky ones--I had the support of my family. It buffered me against a whole lot. Imagine, though, if I'd had to rent at market rates...two people in my family have, in the past few years, paid $350/mo to rent a room in a house, that's the going rate around here. Plug that number into the welfare equation and you get no discretionary income, and if one has a credit card, one won't for long, because the balance will go in the wrong direction every single month.

    I remember when a broken seatbelt or engine problem could put me into a complete panic. $300 for an abortion? Yeah, I probably could have done it, but I was one of the "lucky" ones.

    Until you've spent a year living on less than $500 per month with no help from anyone, don't presume to judge what is and is not affordable.

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