Guttmacher Report Says Abortions Up for Poor Women, Down for Affluent

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 5, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Guttmacher Report Says Abortions Up for Poor Women, Down for Affluent Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 5, 2006

New York, NY ( — Looking into the details of the new abortion report released by the Alan Guttmacher Institute, a Planned Parenthood affiliate, it says poor women are increasingly likely to get pregnant and have abortions while more affluent women are less likely.

Based on nationwide information gathered by the National Center for Health Statistics and other places, AGI reports that the rates of unplanned pregnancies for poor women, increased by almost 30 percent from 1994 to 2001 while they fell 20 percent for women in more affluent families.

Abortion rates also rose and fell for the same groups during the time period, even though abortions are on the decline as a whole nationwide.

"Clearly, something is changing, and it doesn’t bode well in terms of unplanned pregnancies and abortions for poor women, in particular," Heather Boonstra, an AGI report author, tells the Washington Post.

But when asked why this was happening, Boonstra claimed it was because state and federal governments are shifting resources away from contraception and towards abstinence education.

Leslee Unruh, president and founder of the Abstinence Clearinghouse, told the Post she disagreed with that assessment.

"Programs for poor women are often so condescending, even degrading," she said. "They teach how to put on a condom rather than how to take control of their lives."

The study also found that abortions are occurring earlier in pregnancy but that poor women have abortions on average six days later than women who are more affluent.

The AGI study found there were 6.4 million pregnancies in the United States in 2001 and four million babies were born from them. There were 1.3 million abortions and 1.1 million miscarriages.

The pregnancy were roughly divided in half between unintended and planned and unplanned pregnancies split in almost even numbers of abortions and births, the Post reported.