Jessica Davis is a mother of three who lives in Oklahoma with her husband. She was pregnant with her fourth child when her doctors discovered a severe brain malformation called oloprosencephaly, which would prevent her son from living past a year old, if at all. Due to abortion restriction in Oklahoma, the Davis family had to travel to Dallas, Texas, to prevent undue suffering for their unborn child:
The Davises, who are both unemployed and live on Jessica’s $700 a month in disability payments and food stamps, came home to unpaid bills. The electricity was slated to be turned off the next day. Eric sold off scrap metal he found to pay the bill, but there was no money left for gas and water.
Oklahoma law had barred Jessica from using state Medicaid to cover the cost, so the couple had borrowed some money from relatives to cover the $2,800 procedure. In total, the trip set them back $3,500. “It took everything we had so that our son would not suffer,” Jessica said.
Photo: Photography by Hank
All students will now receive free lunches in the Dallas Independent School District, because that’s cheaper than having the state process paperwork for just some students to get free lunches based on family income: “The district made the move anticipating that it will end up saving it money in the long run. As more students qualified for the subsidized breakfast and lunch programs, the district had to hire more workers to keep up with the paperwork while sending out more information and making more calls to families. All of that cost it about $300,000 a year.” This sounds smart. Well done. Bravo.
This story from Smithsonian Mag (not shut down?) about why we eat popcorn at the movies is a real delight. You see: popcorn used to be THE snack of the world (Snickers bars didn’t exist yet I guess?), but it wasn’t allowed in movie theaters because theaters were classy establishments and popcorn was messy. (“Early movie theaters literally had signs hung outside their coatrooms, requesting that patrons check their popcorn with their coats.”)
Eventually, theater owners realized that they had to sell snacks and sure, go ahead, have your beloved popcorn. Also the margin is insane. It’s all air! Anyway, now “movie theaters make an estimated 85 percent profit off of concession sales, and those sales constitute 46 percent of a movie theater’s overall profits.”
Last week Jezebel published a piece by a woman who buys misoprostol and mifepristone—2 pills that induce first trimester abortions—from pharmacies overseas and then sends the pills to desperate women who contact her via email. She doesn’t charge for the pills, though some people do send her PayPal payments. So far she’s spent $1,000. Importing the pills is legal; distributing them is not. RH Reality Check has a follow-up interview with the woman where she reveals that she is currently unemployed and has lived “near or below the poverty line” for most of her adult life. Asked why she would risk everything to help strangers, she answered, “As far as the financial security aspect goes, you can’t risk something you’ve never had.”