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Limited Access to Abortions More Likely to Affect Addicted Women and Their Children

·4 min read

Nurse Practitioner and Founder of PlanningToFlourish.org Says Focus on Family Planning is the Solution to Breaking the Cycle of Addiction

SANTA BARBARA, CA / ACCESSWIRE / August 1, 2022 / A recent Guttmacher Institute report shows that the overturning of Roe v. Wade will disproportionately impact marginalized communities and those who have limited resources to overcome financial barriers. In a post-Roe world, the Institute states, "Restrictions disproportionately impact those who have limited resources to overcome financial and logistic barriers. It is critical to remember that the majority of people who get an abortion are already struggling to make ends meet: Some 75% of abortion patients have low incomes, and the majority are already parents."

Laws and policies on abortion have been changing quite dramatically across the country since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in late June. Many states are still constructing when and under what circumstances a person may have an abortion. The data shows that almost one in 10 people who got an abortion in 2020 traveled out of their home state to get care-a proportion that is likely to increase depending on a particular state's laws.

Last year, researchers at the University of Manitoba in reported that women who have abortions are more likely to also suffer from substance abuse. They suggested that women that have abortions are 3.8 times more likely to be involved with substance abuse than other women.

Beth Meyer-Frank, RNP, JD, the CEO of PlanningtoFlourish.org, has 30 years of experience as a nurse practitioner and has seen countless women who have lost their children due to their addiction. The overturning of Roe v. Wade, Meyer-Frank says, will affect addicted women who aren't using or don't have access to birth control.

No photo description available.
Beth Meyer-Frank next to sculpture of Margaret Sanger (first birth control clinic founder)

"Many addicted women have multiple repeat pregnancies that result in their children ending up in foster care," says Meyer-Frank, an advocate for educating and giving addicted women access to birth control. "The devastation and shame result in the continued use of substances by the mother and trauma to her children, which makes them at high risk for addiction in the future."

A recent study published by the Urban Institute in April 2022 stated that women of reproductive age (15-44) with substance use disorder (SUD) have lower rates of contraceptive use and higher rates of unintended pregnancy than women without SUD (Heil et al. 2011; Terplan et al. 2011). The article continued to report that "women with SUD have significant social needs, including housing, transportation, food security, and child care. Many have a history of or are currently experiencing domestic violence, transactional sex, sexual abuse and coercion, sex trafficking, and rape. These social and sexual health needs make the ability to access the full range of reproductive health care, including abortion, even more critical."

Meyer-Frank's work centers around addicted women when they first enter treatment. She believes addicted women should try to achieve sobriety before starting a family. "Contraception is the foundation of family planning which is essential for the long term recovery of the mothers, and preventing trauma and addiction in her children," says Meyer-Frank.

She adds that low-income women will especially bear the brunt of the Roe v. Wade decision, but addicted women and their children are especially defenseless due to their loss of any semblance of stability and resources.

"When struggling with addiction, women are especially vulnerable to having an unplanned pregnancy or finding themselves pregnant again," Meyer-Frank states. "In addition, many are trying desperately to reunite with children out of their care, which often drives them into treatment. Access to the full range of reproductive health care is the key to positive change for them and their children."


Founded by Beth Meyer-Frank, RNP, JD, the mission of PlanningtoFlourish.org is to promote awareness, education, and information about why family planning should be of paramount importance as a goal for women addicted to substances and while they are in recovery. Their hope is that professionals and workers in the fields of health care, addiction, social work, law, mental health, and teaching, will join together in gaining understanding, contribute to the awareness of the problem, and share in developing solutions. For more information visit https://www.planningtoflourish.org or follow on Facebook.


Beth Meyer-Frank
(804) 844-1774

SOURCE: PlanningToFlourish.org

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