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Monday, April 26, 2010

Sorry, I know you've seen this one before. It's just so apt. 

Did you file your taxes on time? I did, but just barely, because unlike the last couple of years, life was just way too crazy in January, February, and March to even think about anything beyond the coming week.

So I was doing the April-Fifteenth hustle and feeling anxious to hear how much I'd be getting back, because my bank balance has been dropping steadily over the weeks, much to this over-scheduled, under-employed wage-worker/student's dismay. And I thought of my funding clients -- the women who were struggling to make one paycheck stretch to the next, couldn't quite scrape together the full cost of their abortion care, and turned to local or national funds in hopes of pleading for the difference.

A couple springs ago, I was fully immersed in funding cases and found myself really impressed at all my clients who were so on top of their shit that they had already filed their tax returns. At some point it dawned on me that they HAD to be on top of their shit -- and they HAD to get an H&R Block "refund anticipation loan" or something similar, and give the preparers a cut of the return -- so that they could count on their tax return to help pay for their abortion services.

To so many of my clients, the idea of having savings for health emergencies is a nice dream. As shitty as it is to be faced with an unwanted pregnancy at any time, the spring clients could at least say, "Thank God this didn't happen in December," when obligations like traveling home and finding your kids a gift and keeping the gas account open would have made it even harder to raise the needed money for themselves. At least, since it was happening in February, they could get to work on a refund advance right away. Even if the tax people do turn it into a 15%-interest loan.

I can't tell you how sick I got of hearing, during this health-insurance reform circus, the petty selfishness of "Why should my tax dollars pay for abortions?" Even as people say that shit, thousands and millions of women out there are diligently filing their taxes each spring, hoping their measly take-home was measly enough to warrant a refund check to serve as non-existent health savings account, because "we" can't be bothered to provide a basic, extremely-common health service with "OUR MONEY."

This is all a very long, roundabout way of saying: Please fucking donate to the National Network of Abortion Funds Bowl-a-Thon. Even if it's just twenty, ten, or five dollars. Then email it to at least three people who might care. Can you do that? Please? It's the least we can do, living in this country full of very pious people who'd rather save their dollars to be dipped in the blood-bath of foreign wars and police abuse than see one cent of public "support" for the fact that women may choose not to be pregnant.


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