By ERIC ANTHONY GROLLMAN (M.A.)
According to a new study by the Guttmacher Institute, 61% of women who seek abortion services are already mothers.
About The Study
The Guttmacher Institute is a US-based not-for-profit organization that advances information about reproductive and sexual health worldwide. The Institute conducted a nationally-representative survey of women in the United States assess the number who seek abortion services. One of the goals of this survey was to provide a look at the profile of women who seek abortions in the US.
Who Seeks Abortion Services In The US?
What is clear from this study’s findings is that abortion services are used by women of all walks of life. But, one startling change found over the last decade is that poor and low-income women now represent almost 60% of the women who seek abortions in the United States – up from 27% in 2000 and 42% in 2008. The Institute notes that this dramatic shift is likely due two factors: the economy (i.e., the economic recession, and more women now living in poverty) and the growing disparity in unintended pregnancies between poor and low-income women and middle- and upper-class women.
The findings otherwise present a consistent profile of women seeking abortion services:
A broad cross section of U.S. women have abortions: Fifty-eight percent of abortion patients in 2008 were in their 20s; 45% were never-married and not living with a partner; 61% were already mothers; 42% were living below the federal poverty line; 36% were white; 59% had at least some college education; and 73% were religiously affiliated. But certain groups of women—those who were in their 20s, cohabiting, black or poor—were overrepresented among abortion patients.
Laura, who asked that her last name not be used, had come to the New Woman All Women Health Care clinic in Birmingham with her mind set on having an abortion. And she felt that seeing the image of her bean-size fetus would only unleash her already hormonal emotions, without changing her mind.
In one of the few studies of the issue — there have been none in the United States — two abortion clinics in British Columbia found that 73 percent of patients wanted to see an image if offered the chance. Eighty-four percent of the 254 women who viewed sonograms said it did not make the experience more difficult, and none reversed her decision. [NYTimes]
Doctors told her unless she aborted her 11-week-old fetus she would likely die. The problem: St. Joseph’s is a Catholic hospital and abortions are largely prohibited.
Sister Margaret McBride was part of an ethics panel that included doctors that consulted with the young woman. The woman had the procedure and survived. But Sister McBride took some heat. The Phoenix Catholic Diocese, led by Bishop Thomas Olmsted, automatically excommunicated the nun, effectively banning her from participating in the church.