Guttmacher: Abortion has become more concentrated among poor women

The US may be a nation of unimaginable wealth, but its poorest women and children are made to live in quite another country, one of constrained resources and alternatives. And here are some of the real-life results:

The proportion of abortion patients who were poor increased by almost 60%—from 27% in 2000 to 42% in 2008 […].

The growing concentration of abortion among women with incomes below the federal poverty line likely reflects a combination of factors. Between 2000 and 2008, the proportion of women in the overall population who were poor increased by 25%. And a Guttmacher study published in the Fall of 2009 showed that the deep economic recession may also have played a role, as financial concerns led more women to want to delay childbearing or limit the number of children they have.

(Guttmacher Institute, Abortion Has Become More Concentrated Among Poor Women)

Not only are poor women less likely than more affluent women to be able to afford to raise a child without assistance, they are also less likely to be able to afford health care, including both prenatal/childbirth care and access to prescription contraception. One of the key reasons that women who use oral contraceptives sometimes miss pills (and are therefore more likely to become pregnant) is that they put off filling prescriptions for financial reasons.

We hope that the health care bill recently passed by Congress can help counteract these pressures on lower-income women.

(Crossposted to All Our Lives)


OK, you know how I was going to launch this big new pro-life site after the retirement of LeftOut? Well, life intervened, as it so often will, and I was never able to put together the kind of comprehensive site I wanted to. It was going to be great, too, with a library of articles, opportunities for activism, chats with key “alternative” pro-life figures, MeetUps for folks to get together with like-minded people locally, podcasts, and tons more. (Seriously, you should see my notes.) Hard to believe I never that got off the ground in my spare time, isn’t it?

Eventually, it occurred to me that I didn’t really have to pull all that stuff together and present it as a fait accompli. It could and should be a community effort. What I really needed to do was help the community get together. I also found that I was more and more frustrated reading left-leaning and feminist blogs (as well as traditional pro-life ones) and not having any place to put forth an alternate view of abortion politics-as-usual.

Hence, this blog. I’m just going to state what I believe, post, and see what happens.

I believe in ending abortion via social progress. I believe that expanding the circle of legal “personhood” to include every human being is a radically progressive goal. I believe that turning back the clock to a time of restrictive gender roles and one-size-fits-all sexuality is not just, not possible, and not an effective way to end abortion. I believe that a sick society which encourages violence, poverty, discrimination, and other forms of social brutality will never be inclined to protect the most vulnerable among us. I believe in the separation of church and state. I believe that contraception and comprehensive sex education are valuable in and of themselves in addition to being important tools for reducing the demand for abortion. I believe, despite the near-total lack of representation for people like me in the “mainstream” pro-life movement, that there are a lot of us out there.

If this sounds like someplace you’d like to belong, please join on in.