Abortion rates are down in the United States, unless you’re a poor woman.
A new report issued this week in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology says that the number of abortions in this country dropped 8 percent during an 8-year period starting in 2000, but rose nearly 18 percent among the poorest women. In 2008, more than 1.2 abortions were reported, and women whose income fell below the national poverty level accounted for 42 percent for them.
The study authors also said with increasing restrictions placed on abortion services, there is a disproportionate impact on poor women. Many women aren’t able to afford the fee for a first trimester abortion, which can cost between $300 and $950.
“In the middle of a recession, it’s possible women have reduced access to contraception and have more unintended pregnancies,” said Rachel Jones, senior research associate at New York City’s Guttmacher Institute and lead author of the report to ABC News. “It’s also possible that women confronted with unplanned pregnancies when they are out of work decide to have abortions, even though they might have carried it to term in more stable times.”
Planned Parenthood puts the cost of an abortion during the first trimester at between $300 to $950, which many women are forced to pay out of pocket due to no or inadequate insurance coverage.
Overall, however, the abortion rate has been on the decline since 1990, which is perhaps because of better and more widely available contraception. However, the level has stabilized, and the report indicates if the rate form 2008 persists, an estimated one in three women in the United States will undergo an abortion before age 45.
A 2006 study says one-half of pregnancies in the U.S. are unintended each year, and half of those end in abortion.
Do you find it surprising that one out of every three women will have an abortion before age 45, or at all in her lifetime?