Preventing ab in all age groups

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-06-2007
Preventing ab in all age groups
Sun, 08-05-2007 - 5:41pm

Hi everyone,

I really liked the ideas expressed in the preventing the need for abortions debate. It was well thought out and many key points were raised. I did not read through all of them so maybe this point was brought up and not reached.

I have always believed most abortions are needed by teens. This clearly is the view about education and assistance improvement in the earlier posting. However, after visiting this site for a few weeks I have seen that many abortions are a cause of 3rd, 4th, or 5th pregancies in married women. I am not pointing fingers but you would think that with the knowledge that we as older women have that we would be implementing the stratigies we prescribed to the youth. I am just wondering what we as a nation can do to assit these women. Women with families who feel just as trapped to care for the children they already have?

Women have a choice but if there was not a need for that choice we would all be better off. No one likes the thought of ending a pregancy. What can we do to assit/help/support all women?

Edited 8/5/2007 5:44 pm ET by love_2007
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-18-2006
Sun, 08-05-2007 - 7:32pm
I dont think *most* abortions are to married women or women having their 3rd or 4th pregnancy. I ahve read in the passt that most abortions are are done for women who are 20-24. I think education is a key because if you inforce real safe sex and how birth control works when people are younger they will remember it in their 20's and so on. I also think that birth control should be more affordable that would help some. Schools and big companies should have daycare centers built in that are cheaper than regular centers. It should also be easier to qualify for government help if you are working or in school.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-03-2007
Sun, 08-05-2007 - 9:24pm

This is a fabulous topic, well introduced! I wish I could stay up later to write a long post, but I can spit this in here now and hope it grows strongly and I'll get back later.

A brief demographic of women having abortions according to Guttmacher:
* 56% of women having abortions are in their 20s;
* 61% have one or more children;
* 67% have never married;
* 57% are economically disadvantaged;
* 88% live in a metropolitan area; and
* 78% report a religious affiliation.

So while it may or may not be 3rd or 4th pregnancies, for many it's not their first. According to the much much more comprehensive study in the link below, in the last decade we have made the greatest strides in reducing the demand for teen abortions, as 'love' mentioned, so that now we can tackle the next biggest demand - young single mothers in poverty. Even though these are slim majorities to make generalizations from, it is highly unlikely that any one solution will be the prevention that every woman needs. The best place to start is with the greatest need, and then add preventions from there, eh?

Here's the greater breakdown:

Apologies for not adding any ideas for solutions as of yet, but it's too important a topic to not write thoughtfully about. I can't wait to read others' posts!

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-03-2007
Mon, 08-06-2007 - 11:39am

Having a slow day today - the one procedure I was going to be able to see today got canceled. Having caught up with my homework, I can visit iVillage with a clear conscience!

As best I can read, the single strongest predictor of abortion is poverty. Here is a quote from the publication I linked in my post #3. It is long, but so pertinent!

"Women with incomes below 200% of poverty made up 30% of all women of reproductive age, but accounted for 57% of all women having abortions in 2000: Twenty-seven percent of abortions were obtained by women living below the poverty line, and another 31% by women with incomes of 100-199% of poverty. The concentration of economically disadvantaged women among those having abortions was greater in 2000 than in 1994, when 50% of women obtaining abortions had incomes of less than 200% of poverty.

Abortion rates decreased as income rose, from 44 per 1,000 among poor women to 10 per 1,000 among the highest-income women. In 1994 as well, women with incomes below 200% of poverty had higher abortion rates than higher-income women. However, between 1994 and 2000, rates decreased among middle- and higher-income women, whereas they increased among poor and low-income women.

The high abortion rates among economically disadvantaged women were partly due to high pregnancy rates—133 per 1,000 for poor women and 115 per 1,000 for low-income women. As income increased, pregnancy rates declined, and women with the highest incomes had a pregnancy rate of 66 per 1,000. These women were the least likely to abort their pregnancies (15%), and poor and low-income women were the most likely to do so (33%)."

So why are poor women getting pregnant more? And of those pregnancies, wanting fewer of them? I'd say quality of health insurance and education! When I go to my very priviledged healthcare appointment and want to talk about contraception, I get the time and attention I need, and feel assured that if I don't understand something they will explain it, and when I had miserable side effects from the first type of OCP that I tried, I knew that I could go back and try something different.

Everybody - VOTE FOR SINGLE-PAYER HEALTH CARE!!! Sorry to use caps, but I can't possibly feel more passionate about this. We need a better standard of prevention, it would go a long long long way towards fixing this epidemic of unintentional pregnancy.

This connection between poverty and abortion pretty much explains the connection between race and abortion - since unbalanced proportions of the poor are black or hispanic, they are seeing shoddier healthcare and higher rates of abortion than relatively wealthy whites. Depressing.