Abortion is a hotly-debated and potentially contentious issue, but there is limited research surrounding the issue, especially concerning what happens to those women who are not permitted to have the abortion that's requested. Women who are denied abortions are called turnaways, and a new study has been carried out to see what happens in their lives as a result of being denied the procedure. Here's a look at what the study found happens to turnaways' financial positions.
The study of turnaway women has been carried out by researchers from the San Francisco-based Advancing New Standards in Public Health (ANSIRH) and has looked at the consequences of women being denied an abortion. The research was led by Diana Greene Foster.
Foster and her team of researchers followed the lives of over 1,000 women from 2008 to 2010 and conducted over 2,800 interviews during this period. The study sought to discover how women's mental and physical health, their financial situations and their relationships were affected by being a turnaway.
The findings were based on a study of 956 women who had visited 30 abortion clinics across the country. The majority of the women in the study did secure the abortion they wanted, but 182 were turnaways and denied abortions due to their pregnancies having advanced past the gestation limit of their particular states.
One of the main issues this research has highlighted is that being denied an abortion has very serious implications for a woman's economic situation. The study showed that at the time they sought the abortions, the two groups of women (those who had the abortion and those turned away) were in comparable economic positions. Forty-five percent of the women were on public assistance, and two-thirds of the women reported a household income below the poverty line.
The turnaways were far more likely to be on public assistance o ne year on from the birth . The research showed that 76% of the turnaways were now receiving financial assistance compared to just 44% of those who were granted their abortions. S ome 67% percent of the turnaways were living below the poverty line a year after. That's compared to 56% of the women who'd had the abortion, and only 48% of the turnaways had a full-time job compared to 58% of the women who got abortions.
The research has highlighted that many women wanted an abortion because they knew they couldn't afford to raise a child. We should then not be surprised that they were on public assistance or unemployed as a result of giving birth.
"When a woman is denied the abortion she wants, she is statistically more likely to wind up unemployed, on public assistance and below the poverty line ," said Foster in an interview with io9. "Another conclusion we could draw is that denying women abortions places more burden on the state because of these new mothers' increased reliance on public assistance programs."
Longitudinal research has found that when abortion is denied, the resulting children are more likely to have a variety of social and psychological problems. This compounds the social and financial issues that denying abortion can cause. Being denied an abortion can negatively affect a woman's financial situation and place a financial burden on the state due to the increased likelihood of needing financial support.
The Bottom Line
Your financial situation is a big part of the decision to have a child. Many women in the study cited their own financial situations as the reason why they did not wish to continue with their pregnancies. Women typically want to avoid unintended pregnancies in the cases where having a baby would compromise economic autonomy, force them to drop out of school or prevent them from keeping a job. Therefore, it does not seem surprising that denying women abortions has such a damaging impact on their financial situations.
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