263858 Socioeconomic consequences of abortion compared to unwanted birth

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 1:00 PM - 1:15 PM

Diana Greene Foster, PhD , Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, Department of Ob/Gyn, University of California, San Francisco, Oakland, CA
Sarah C. M. Roberts, DrPH , Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health, Dept. of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, Oakland, CA
Jane Mauldon, PhD , Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
The Turnaway Study is a five-year prospective longitudinal study which aims to understand the effect of abortion on women's lives. Women were recruited from 30 abortion clinics across the country where no clinic within 150 miles performs procedures at a later gestation. The study includes women just above the gestational limit who were turned away from an abortion (n=231), just below the limit who received an abortion (n=452), and who received a first trimester abortion (n=273). This analysis presents the socioeconomic consequences for a family when a woman receives or is denied an abortion.

At the time of seeking an abortion, there were no differences in financial wellbeing between the women receiving and being denied abortions: 45% received public assistance, two thirds had household incomes below the federal poverty level (FPL) and the average household size was 3.7. One year later, 86% of women denied an abortion were living with the baby; 11% had placed the baby for adoption. Women denied abortion were more likely to be receiving public assistance (76% vs. 44%) and have household income below the FPL (67% vs. 56%) than women who received an abortion. The proportion of women denied an abortion who were working full time was lower than among women who received an abortion (48% vs. 58%).

Consistent with women's reasons for wanting an abortion, primarily that they could not afford a child, many families increasingly rely on public assistance and remain in poverty after being denied an abortion.

Learning Areas:
Biostatistics, economics
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the socioeconomic reasons women seek abortion. Compare the education, employment and income of women who receive abortions and women who are denied wanted abortions.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the principal investigator of the Turnaway Study, designed and oversaw the study and took a lead on analysis of the data.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.