Policy Analysis: Abortion Clinic Access

Introduction

Abortion clinical access is one of the major current policy issues in the United States. Abortion clinical access refers to the ability of women to have access to safe and affordable abortion services on demand (Saurette & Gordon, 2015). The debate about abortion access has attracted the attention of politicians, religious groups, human rights activists, and members of the public who have a varying opinion over the issue. A section of the society believes the service should be easily accessible at affordable cost and in a convenient way, while the other section is opposed to the procedure. The purpose of this analysis is to investigate the accessibility and rates of abortion at the national level. The study will look at the ease with which the services are available to members of the public. This topic is very important because it seeks to address major issues related to abortion that affected women seeking the services. The following are the specific questions that the policy analysis intends to address:

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  1. What is the current rate of abortion clinical access in the United States?
  2. What are the fundamental issues affecting access to clinical abortion in the United States?
  3. How can the stakeholders address issues affecting access to clinical abortion in the United States?

Background

Access to safe and affordable abortion is one of the most debated topics in the United States. The enactment of laws and policies that legalize abortion in the United States has significantly reduced cases of unsafe abortion in the United States. However, Brown (2016) says that cases of unsafe abortion conducted outside of hospitals are still a major issue that stakeholders are trying to deal with within the country. When abortion is conducted outside of clinics, it endangers the life of the mother. Sometimes it may have serious adverse effects on the future ability of the women to have a normal pregnancy. Nathanson (2013) notes that since 2011, cases of clinical abortion have reduced significantly, as shown in the table below:

Table 1: Reduced Incidences of Clinical Abortion.

Year/Abortion Rate by Type 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Surgical 678 664 582 551 517
Medication 152 196 176 188 213

According to Cohen and Connon (2015), the reduced cases of clinical abortion are attributed to increased awareness and use of contraceptives in the country. Teenage pregnancies have also reduced significantly over the years. However, the high cost is still an issue that women seeking these services have to face. Ness (2015) says that abortion is a relatively expensive undertaking in the country. Table 1 below shows the average cost of abortion in the United States.

Table 2: Cost of abortion services in the United States.

Type Surgical abortion Medication abortion at a surgical abortion Medication abortion at the med clinic
Average Cost {$} 594.74 579.14 557.85

As shown in the above table, one cannot access abortion services in the country without at least $ 550. The existing policy emphasizes on making clinical abortion services available to all women who may need it. The main strength of the policy is that it seeks to eliminate any form of intimidation or attack to people seeking or offering the service. However, the main weakness is that it has failed to address the problem of the high cost. This policy directly affects women who may need the service and their family members.

Analysis

It is important to come up with alternative policies to achieve the objective of having accessible clinical abortion services in the country. The primary goal is to ensure that clinical abortion services are available to all American women who may need them for various reasons. As such, new policies are needed to address the fundamental issues raised. One of the alternative policies needed is to make abortion services free based on age and social status, especially for the less privileged members of the society. Another alternative would be to have the services offered under the health insurance plan. Under such plans, women will be allowed to use their health insurance cards to pay for the services every time they visit these clinics. The government should also enact policies that would criminalize anyone who physically stops or hinders a person from accessing abortion services.

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It is important to note that various policies may need to be implemented, but various constraints such as time and resources make it necessary to select just specific policies that can be implemented. Selecting the best policy should help in prioritizing the most relevant and critical policies that should be implemented. The criteria should be the accessibility of the services (McBride & Parry, 2016). Currently, one of the biggest hindrances towards the accessibility of these services is cost. This issue needs to be addressed. As such, the current criteria should focus on making clinical abortion services affordable to all American women irrespective of their social status.

The first alternative is to make the services free for all women in the United States. This alternative will make the service easily available to all in the country and may have a positive impact on healthcare and patient outcome. However, it may cause a serious financial burden on the government. It may also cause laxity regarding the use of contraceptives. Having a healthcare plan that covers these services is the other alternative. However, it will need the government to purchase these plans. The best trade-off between these alternatives would be to have a plan that puts the responsibility on both the government and recipients of such services.

Recommendations

The analysis shows that the best alternative would be to have a system that puts the responsibility to the government and the recipients of these services. As such, the policy would be to have a health insurance policy that covers clinical abortion services. The alternative will not only minimize victimization of the service providers and those seeking the service but will also make the target population more responsible when dealing with issues related to this policy. The best strategy to implement the selected alternative would be to enact state or national level laws that would introduce the clinical abortion services in healthcare insurance plans. The main barrier that may be faced when implementing this policy is a possible rejection by politicians. In their effort to please the electorates, some lawmakers may reject this law. However, they can be convinced to reconsider their stance and embrace the new policy. If it is adopted, it will be necessary to evaluate policy implementation. The best method of doing that is to statistically compare the percentage of those having safe clinical abortion services against those who have unsafe abortion (Sawhill, 2014). It is important to note that the primary goal is not to promote abortion but to ensure that if one has to have it, then it should be done safely.

Discussion

The analysis and background information shows that the rate of clinical abortion in the United States is dropping because of increased levels of awareness and use of contraceptives. Some of the fundamental issues affecting the accessibility of abortion services in the country include victimization by a section of the society, the high cost of the services, and the political atmosphere that is against abortion. Some members of the public are not yet convinced that sometimes abortion may be the only solution to saving the life of a woman (McBride & Parry, 2016). As such, they do not support it. The main limitation of this analysis is that it did not involve the collection of primary data from the respondents so that the issue can be analyzed critically. The primary data would have helped in understanding why so many people are still against medical abortion. However, the findings are expected to have significant implementation for practice, research, education, and policy-making. The information will create awareness that would improve practice and policy-making regarding having abortion services. This document will offer researchers and educationists with the information needed in this field of study.

Conclusion

The findings of this paper show that although policies exist in the United States to protect those who offer or receive clinical abortion services, the cost and negative perception that some members of the society have towards it reduces its availability. It is recommended that alternative policies should be enacted to include abortion services in health insurance plans. Future studies should address the need to eliminate the negative perception that some members of society have towards clinical abortion.

References

Brown, L. (2016). Contested spaces: Abortion clinics, women’s shelters, and hospitals, politicizing the female body. New York, NY: Ashgate Publishing.

Cohen, D. S., & Connon, K. (2015). Living in the crosshairs: The untold stories of anti-abortion terrorism. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

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McBride, D., & Parry, J. (2016). Women’s rights in the USA: Policy debates and gender roles. New York, NY: Routledge.

Nathanson, B. N. (2013). The hand of God: A journey from death to life by the abortion doctor who changed his mind. Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing.

Ness, I. (2015). Encyclopedia of American social movements. New York, NY: Routledge.

Saurette, P., & Gordon, K. (2015). The changing voice of the anti-abortion movement: The rise of “pro-woman” rhetoric in Canada and the United States. London, UK: University of Toronto Press.

Sawhill, V. (2014). Generation unbound: Drifting into sex and parenthood without marriage. Washington, DC. : Brookings Institution Press.

Appendix

Limited Clinical Abortion Services in the US.
Figure 1: Limited Clinical Abortion Services in the US. Source (Brown, 2016).
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StudyCorgi. (2021, January 26). Policy Analysis: Abortion Clinic Access. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/policy-analysis-abortion-clinic-access/

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"Policy Analysis: Abortion Clinic Access." StudyCorgi, 26 Jan. 2021, studycorgi.com/policy-analysis-abortion-clinic-access/.

1. StudyCorgi. "Policy Analysis: Abortion Clinic Access." January 26, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/policy-analysis-abortion-clinic-access/.


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StudyCorgi. "Policy Analysis: Abortion Clinic Access." January 26, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/policy-analysis-abortion-clinic-access/.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Policy Analysis: Abortion Clinic Access." January 26, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/policy-analysis-abortion-clinic-access/.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Policy Analysis: Abortion Clinic Access'. 26 January.

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