Why Women Have Abortions - Island of Sanity

Island of Sanity



Abortion

Why Women Have Abortions


In 2004, the Alan Guttmacher Institute published a study of women who were getting abortions, asking why they had made this decision. (Yes, this is a few years ago. But the results were very similar to their 1987 study, so if little changed from 1987 to 2004, it's fair to suppose that little changed from 2004 to now.) They collected responses from 1209 women at 11 facilities that performed abortions. The results were printed in Family Planning Perspectives, Planned Parenthood's magazine.

Both the Guttmacher Institute and Planned Parenthood are pro-abortion, so if there is any bias in this study, it would presumably be on the pro-choice side. The nature of the study inherently introduces a pro-choice bias: It is based on women's self-reported reasons for having an abortion. It is fair to theorize that women would give the most serious and profound justifications they could think of, rather than weak or frivolous reasons.

Many women gave multiple reasons, but they also asked the participants to name their most import reason. Here's their chart, Table 3 in their study. (Numbers are percent of respondents.)

Reason 2004 1987
Not redy for a(nother) child/timing is wrong 25 27
Can't afford a baby now 23 21
Have completed my childbearing / have other people depending on me / children are grown 19 8
Dn't want to be a single mother / am having relationship problems 8 13
Don't feel mature enough to raise a(nother) child / feel too young 7 11
Would interfere with education or career plans 4 10
Physical problem with my health 4 3
Possible problems affecting the health of the fetus 3 3
Was a victim of rape <0.5 1
Husband or partner wants me to have an abortion <0.5 1
Parents want me to have an abortion <0.5 <0.5
Don't want people to know I had sex or got pregnant <0.5 1
Other 6 1
Total 100 100

Note the above responses are all in Guttmacher's words.

Pro-abortionists routinely use hard cases like rape and deformed children to justify abortion-on-demand. Even if we accept abortion in such difficult cases, and even if we accept the numbers from this study as authoritative (and other studies by pro-lifers find much lower incidence of these hard cases), we could still summarize the above as: (My words, not Guttmacher's.)

Deformed baby 3%
Threat to life or health of mother 4%
Rape <1%
Mother has financial problems 27%
Mother has social problems or just doesn't want a baby 65%

Or to look at it graphically:

Now don't misunderstand me, I am not saying that these social problems are all frivolous. Sometimes they are legitimate, serious problems. But ... under what other circumstances would we accept the idea that one person has the right to kill another person to solve his or her social problems?

© 2022 by Jay Johansen


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