Abortion Rises Among Low-Income Women, Falls In Other Groups

Illustration for article titled Abortion Rises Among Low-Income Women, Falls In Other Groups

States like Indiana and Kansas are trying to block Planned Parenthood from providing health care low-income women simply because it also provides abortions. Meanwhile, the reality-based world reveals that while the abortion rate has gone down 8 percent between 2000 and 2008, it has risen nearly 18 percent among the poorest women.

Put another way, 42 percent of abortions are chosen by women who fall under the poverty line, indicating a major link between access to resources and averting unintended pregnancies, as well as tough choices made by women who may want to carry to term but lack the economic resources.

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Four separate studies recently released by researchers at the Guttmacher Institute paint a picture of who gets abortions in the U.S., and the public cost of denying women access to contraceptive services, sex education, and abortion care. That includes the handy state-by-state guide, as seen above, as well as a conservative estimate of how much unintended pregnancies cost the U.S. in public services: $11 billion annually.

Between 2000 and 2008, abortion rates decreased 18 percent among African-American women, the largest decline overall. The abortion rate for that group remains higher than other groups.

The Guttmacher study that looked at a state-by-state rate of unintended or mistimed pregnancies found a major variance by state, with Mississippi having the highest rate and New Hampshire the lowest. There was also a significant state-by-state range in how many of these pregnancies were carried to term versus terminated:

The median proportion of unintended pregnancies ending in birth was 58%, and the median proportion ending in abortion was 29% (the remainder ended in fetal loss). States where relatively low proportions ended in birth included New York (33%), New Jersey (36%), Connecticut (37%), Maryland (41%) and Massachusetts (41%). The states with the highest proportions of unintended pregnancies ending in birth were South Dakota (72%); Louisiana and Utah (71% each); and Arkansas, Kentucky and Nebraska (68% each).

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What a surprise that the highest proportion of unwanted or unplanned babies are being born in South Dakota, which has all but banned abortion outright with the longest waiting period in the country, a coercive script for doctors to read, no in-state provider, and requirements that women visit anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers.

But we'll leave it to the experts:

Efforts to reduce unintended pregnancy rates by focusing only on reducing abortions (e.g., by restricting access to the procedure) would seem less likely to succeed than efforts that increase access to and use of contraceptives, particularly in states with a high proportion of unintended pregnancies ending in birth. In fact, at the national level, declines in the abortion rate have not been accompanied by declines in the unintended pregnancy rate.

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The study that estimated the overall pricetag of women having children from pregnancies they described as unwanted or mistimed noted that in some states, the proportion of these pregnancies from people relying on public funding was 80 percent. Under the Hyde amendment, these women are denied access to publicly-funded abortions except in extremely limited circumstances, or if their state Medicaid makes an exception. And yet some states and some national policy makers want to move in the other direction and block women access to basic family planning sources. But as the study authors note, "In the absence of the services provided at publicly funded family planning centers, the costs of unintended pregnancy would be 60% higher than they are today."

Abortion Rate Increasing Among Poor Women, Even As It Decreases Among Most Other Groups [Guttmacher]
Nation Pays Steep Price For High Rates Of Unintended Pregnancy [Guttmacher]
Abortion Rate Down Overall, Up Among Poor Women [ABC News]

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DISCUSSION

drunkexpatwriter
DrunkExPatWriter

That said the GOP probably thinks $11 billion is a small price to pay if it means that more women will carry unintended pregnancies to term.

The entire game from their end is to provide the least amount of access to contraceptives as possible, the most inaccurate sex education to teenage girls as possible and to make getting an abortion as difficult as possible.

The reason is that they want teenage girls and women in their early 20s to have accidental pregnancies and keep them to term.

This artificially lowers the unemployment rate, because stay at home moms are not counted, makes it less likely that these women will compete in the workplace against men (thus making it easier for dudes to get jobs and decreasing the unemployment rate even more) keeps them from pursuing higher education (which makes it more likely they will vote GOP or not at all) and drives them to church groups to help with daycare and charity to help raise their child, which also increases the odds of them voting Republican or not at all.

Meanwhile the unwanted children grow up to either be women who will likely have unplanned pregnancies and keep them to term - thus continuing the cycle - or men who will be willing to take any job that comes their way no matter how poorly paid it is.

It's all a process to keep votes going to to the GOP while raising a cheap labor supply that will be willing to work serfdom level jobs at Wal-Mart and such.

So yeah, they pay $11 billion of taxpayer money and in exchange get many, many more votes, plus people who will eventually voluntarily become slaves.

In GOP terms that's a fucking bargain.