Black and Latina Women Aborting At Much Higher Rates Than Whites

Illustration for article titled Black and Latina Women Aborting At Much Higher Rates Than Whites

In the first comprehensive analysis of abortion data since 1974, the Guttmacher Institute has found that while the overall abortion rate is down in the United States, black and Latina women are having abortions at five and three times the rate of white women, respectively, the Los Angeles Times reports. However, some health policy experts believe the reason these women are getting abortions at much higher rates has more to do with low incomes and limited access to health insurance than race. Planned Parenthood's VP of public policy, Laurie Rubiner, tells Newsweek, "When you don't have access to affordable birth control, rates of unintended pregnancy are going to be higher. That's a sad and real-life consequence of the health insurance gap."Another new wrinkle in the analysis of recent abortion statistics is that women who have abortions now are much more likely to already be mothers than women who had abortions 30 years ago. Back then, most of the women getting abortions were teens and college students. According to NOW President Kim Gandy, "Women are making a decision, 'Can I feed another mouth? Did my husband leave me with three other kids? Is this going to mean that I can't feed my kids?' There is a real life decision that a woman has to make." Day Gardner, the president of the National Black Pro-Life Union, claims that the number of inner city abortion clinics is the reason for higher rates of abortion among black women. She tells the L.A. Times, "It doesn't have as much to do with poverty as that the abortion facilities are there, ingrained in the neighborhoods." (Riiiight — these women are mere abortion pawns, not adults with their own agency who have made the choice that's right for them. Think of the children!) Unfortunately, the anti-choicers are getting their way in some cases, as University of Alabama assistant political science professor Michael J. New tells the Washington Post, "The states with the most active pro-life laws have seen the biggest abortion declines." Abortion Rate Is Down, But Report Cites Racial Disparity [LAT] The Changing Face of Abortion [Newsweek] Study Finds Major Shift In Abortion Demographics [Washington Post]


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Erin Gloria Ryan

Abortion is more expensive than birth control, no? I don't understand why people who cannot afford birth control, at about $30 a month, can afford to have abortion, or multiple abortions. Aren't those, like, hundreds of dollars?

No judgement, I honestly need an explanation that makes sense.