So Just Who is Having Abortions These Days??

Amy Hendel Health Guide
  • Well there is still quite a heated debate going in our blog arena about Sarah Palin, her position on many issues, including abortion and people's views on abortion.  So I think the reasonable question to ask is - just who is utilizing the "right to abort" these days?  Well, fewer white teens are having abortions as compared to past decades, while more mothers of color in their 20s and 30s are having abortions. 

     

    In this first significant study since 1974, researchers found a dramatic shift in white teens and women downward when compared to Hispanic, black and older women.  The CDC has actually been doing intermittent surveys since 1974, and this major study reflects data collected through 2004.  When looking at women ages 15-44, abortion rates fell 33% (from 29 abortions per 1000 to 20 abortions per 1000 in 2004).  When looking at women younger than 20, it dropped from 33% of all abortions to 20%; when looking at women younger than 18, it fell from 15% of all abortions down to 6%.

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    When looking at older age groups, abortions obtained by women in their 20s increased from 50-57% and for women in their 30s, it rose from 18-27%.  When you look across racial/ethnic lines, Hispanic and African-American women have abortions at a rate of 3-5 times the rate of Caucasian women. The conclusion of researchers, "we've made incredible strides in reducing unwanted teen pregnancies but we have not had the same impact on reducing unintended pregnancies in older women."

     

    If you compare the 3 groups (regardless of age):

    Abortion among Caucasian women decreased from 1994 (rate of 45%) to 2004 (rate of 34%)

    Abortion among Hispanics increased from 1994 (16%) to 2004 (22%)

    Abortion among African-Americans increased from 1994 (35%) to 2004 (37%)

     

    There is certainly an acknowledged link between being from a lower-socio-economic background and having more abortions.  There also seems to be an upswing of abortion statisitics among women who have one child and cannot afford a second child.  It's also acknowledged that without affordable means of healthcare, birth control access seems to suffer - hence the abortion statistics among the less fortunate. 

     

    With regards to lower teen rates of pregnancy, experts theorize that:

    - Increased contraception use

    - More teens delaying sexual contact

    - State laws requiring parental consent when a minor wants an abortion

     

    may explain it.  Also - the states with the most active pro-life laws, have seen the biggest teen abortion decline.  Experts hope that more access to affordable contraception will be an outcome to this study.

Published On: September 23, 2008