Mother's Day Appeal
The current hostile U.S. Supreme Court environment does not bode well for women's reproductive rights, and though presidents change with some regularity, Supreme Court Justices do not. Chief Justice Roberts, who was described before his confirmation as "a nice man, if you don't mind losing your civil liberties," is living up to his reputation (although I never was sure about that "nice"). Our hope is that because he is someone accustomed to making gobs of money, his salary as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court may eventually pall, and he will leave, especially if he is not able to get it increased (or get the unanimous decisions from the brethren that he has announced is his goal). He's complained judges are underpaid--his salary is at least $212,000 with many perks and a long vacation.
Turning to imminent matters, Mother's Day is almost here, and this is our annual appeal for "motherhood by choice" for women who are poor. Listed are a very few of the women, already mothers, whom the Women's Medical Fund has helped or is committed to helping. Typically, the Fund pays half.
Please know that we encourage tubal ligations when at all indicated. Tubals are covered by public medical assistance in Wisconsin, but we are dealing, for the most part, with an uneducated population, unware of a tubal's safety and simplicity. Often there is a macho male in the picture who gauges his masculinity by the number of children produced. Then, too, when you are very poor, it can be a barrier to find a practitioner who will help, plus the problem of an interview, then a 30-day delay, as well as finding childcare--all these factors make even paid tubals a hard sell.
The Fund has helped 270 women through April of this year with checks to providers ranging from $65 to $500. Age range was 13 to 42. So far this year we have helped teens as young as 13 (in seventh grade). We helped one 20-year-old who was raped at age 11, delivered at age 12. Her mother died several years ago, and she describes her father as a "jailbird." Of the 270 women helped so far this year, 47 have been teenagers.
Since prices have gone up recently at all the clinics, our help is more important than ever. A sobering statistic: there are 91 women in our "inactive" file for 2007 who were serious enough about wanting and needing an abortion to pay the $100 -$125 cost of their first appointment (mandated by state law) but who never kept their second abortion appointment because they could not find their part of the money.
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In addition to thanking you for your support, we wish to thank our generous and committed board of directors: president Robert West; vice-president Kay Elwers; treasurer Nora Cusack (who has found several critical private foundation grants); secretary Annie Laurie Gaylor; board members Prof. Robert Kimbrough and Phyllis Rose, an indefatigable volunteer.
Although we are located in Madison, Wisconsin, we do help women from all over the state. Milwaukee, of course, has the neediest population. Milwaukee is fourth worst in the nation for the numbers of children living in poverty. These are their mothers who ask for our help.
Please observe Mother's Day with a check to the Women's Medical Fund for motherhood by choice.
Anne Nicol Gaylor