House of Horrors at Philly Abortion Clinic Inflames Debate

Abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell has been charged with eight counts of murder. Both sides of the abortion debate are having a field day with this case. But what happens to poor women of color faced with unwanted pregnancies?

(Continued from Page 2)

"Because of the Medicaid ban on abortion funding and state restrictions, poor women in the state and in Philadelphia really face horrific choices about what to do if they have an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy, or a pregnancy that poses significant health problems," Rose Corrigan, a professor of politics and law at Drexel University, told AlterNet news. "So what I've seen is that women often shop around for abortion services. Women are so poor that a few dollars really make a difference."

It's not likely to get any easier for poor women seeking abortions. Last week the House passed a bill to restrict access to federal funding for abortion. Currently under the Hyde Amendment, funding is available only in cases of rape, incest or harm to a woman's life. Now House Republicans want to "redefine" rape with a bill that allows for federal funding of abortions only in cases of "forcible rape," where clear physical force was used. If passed, the bill will deny abortion coverage in cases of incest, statutory rape or when a woman "just" said no.

"As access becomes more limited, we are likely to see more providers like Gosnell," Schewel told The Root, likening Gosnell's clinic to pre-Roe v. Wade facilities. "It's disturbing."

Lynette Holloway is a Chicago-based writer. She is a former New York Times reporter and associate editor for Ebony magazine.

Like The Root on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

The Root encourages respectful debate and dialogue in our commenting community. To improve the commenting experience for all our readers we will be experimenting with some new formats over the next few weeks. During this transition period the comments section will be unavailable to users.

We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your continued support of The Root.

While we are experimenting, please feel free to leave feedback below about your past experiences commenting at The Root.