The Majority Of Women Who Seek Abortion Services Are Already Moms

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According to a new study by the Guttanmacher Institute, 61% of women who seek abortion services are already mothers.

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.

Dr. Eric Anthony Grollman

received his PhD in sociology at Indiana University. He is an Assistant Professor at the University of Richmond. Dr. Grollman's research interests lie in medical sociology, social psychology, sexualities, and race/gender/class. You can see his personal blog at http://egrollman.com.
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Comments

  • Candy

    Sadly, I'm not surprised. If only these women would take the time to use birth control responsibly the abortionists would be out of business. There are infertile women who would give anything to have a child and women who've had miscarriages and grieve for their loss. These women who have abortions are literally throwing away their babies.

  • Nikita

    It's definitely a very hard choice to make. The “Abortionists” as you have called them, however, do not make much money by performing abortions. Mostly, they are gynecologists and other medical professionals who include providing abortions as one of their practices. And often, their clinics are short on funds because there is so much controversy over the issue. This puts women's health care at risk. Also, there are MANY instances when a woman may not have the choice to use birth control. If she is raped, or if a birth control method fails, pregnancy can and does happen. Unfortunately, many women do not even have adequate knowledge about birth control methods or access to such methods. I know personally I cannot use any of the hormonal birth control options (because I get migraines with aura, and because I gain large amounts of weight when I'm on them), so I have to stick to barrier methods and spermicide. But those things aren't cheap. I definitely feel for the infertile women who want children (my best friend has been trying to adopt because she and her husband are infertile, and I plan on adopting someday too), but giving a baby up for adoption after you've had it as part of you for 9 months is also not a decision many women feel able to make. Like I said, it's a hard decision. Many many women do chose to have abortions, but I don't think it's as black and white as you have made it out to be.