Women Denied Abortion More Likely To End Up On Welfare

As abortion access has grown increasingly more restricted across the country a new report has, for the first time, quantified what happens when women who need abortions are denied them. The answers are grim.

Researchers from the University of San Francisco, California launched the Global Turnaway Study that documented the experiences of women who were seeking to terminate a pregnancy but were turned away from abortion services. The study found these women were three times more likely than women who successfully obtained abortions to fall below the poverty live within the next two years. Other take-aways from the study include the findings that 76 percent of those who were turned away already received some form of public assistance and 67 percent of those turned away were below the poverty line. As summarized by i09:

When a woman is denied the abortion she wants, she is statistically more likely to wind up unemployed, on public assistance, and below the poverty line. Another conclusion we could draw is that denying women abortions places more burden on the state because of these new mothers’ increased reliance on public assistance programs.

The study also failed to find a statistical correlation between abortion and drug use or abortion and clinical depression. Put another way, women who successfully obtained an abortion did not experience any negative emotional consequences stemming from the termination. Quite the opposite. According to the researchers, “One week after seeking abortion, 97 percent of women who obtained an abortion felt that abortion was the right decision; 65 percent of turnaways still wished they had been able to obtain an abortion.”

Anti-abortion activists have found great success in pushing abortion restrictions all designed to “help” women avoid abortion because, they claim, the trauma related to the procedure is simply too much for women to bear. Now we have quantifiable evidence that this is just not true. Of course, given the disdain for any facts or evidence that conflict with their religious world-view, there’s little reason this study will sway the minds of most anti-choice advocates. But it will undoubtedly help women’s rights activists looking to change the narrative on how best to aid and empower women.


Related Stories:

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That Was Quick: Ohio GOP Restarts Abortion Wars

Is “Pro-Life” Just Another Name For “Anti-Woman”?

Photo from bsabarnowl via flickr.


Heather G.
Heather G4 years ago

Jody, you start your comment wanting women to see pregnancy as a blessing rather than a curse, but you end your comment wanting pregnancy to be a punishment, you play you pay, even for women who were raped. Where's the proof for your ridiculous claim that pregnancy conceived by rape accounts for less than 1% of abortions?? There isn't any because it's not true. For one thing rape is under-reported so many women, even ones who find themselves pregnant later do not tell anyone, and for another thing women don't have to share their reasons for having an abortion to obtain one. Plus, for your statistic to be believable we would also have to believe that rapists are more conscientious and diligent about birth control than anyone else!!

Jody Firneno
Jody Firneno4 years ago

Can any fellow woman actually see a pregnancy is a blessing and not a curse? Its a human being for God's sake, not a tumor! Article forgets to mention most women seeking abortion are already on welfare! there is an old saying... "you play.. You pay". And don't patronize me with any rape cases... Those account for LESS than 1% of abortions performed.

Duane B.
.5 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Jane Mckenzie
Jane Mckenzie5 years ago

adoption should be a last resort. Having been desperate to have a baby by any ethical means, my need to have a baby can never be more important then the vulnerable woman who for whatever reason does not feel capable of continuing with an unwanted pregnancy.

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill5 years ago

What about adoption? There are so many couples who want children and can't have one.

Pregnancy might kill the woman but abortion WILL kill the baby.

Thomas P.
Thomas P5 years ago

Thanks. It's hard to believe some of the comments I've read. Whatever your position is on abortion (and mine is that it should be a woman's choice), are there not some people leaving comments here aware that women sometimes get pregnant even though they have used birth control? That the pregnancy may kill her? Is that breaking news to some? I'm glad I grew up in an era (and a state) where sex education was taught, and I'm glad my mother discussed these things with me when I was very young. Irene F....thank you for sharing. It must have taken a lot of courage to do what you did, particularly where you live.....I admire your candor.

Beth M.
Beth M5 years ago

The trauma related to the procedure is simply too much for women to bear? Are you kidding? We women are strong and have the right to decide what happens to our own bodies and to our own lives!!

irene fernandez
irene Fernandez5 years ago

As a woman who had an abortion I am thankful for the procedure and as someone that at that time couldn´t even take care of herself (emotionally and economically) I know I did the right thing. I haven´t regreted my decision because it was the right one for the moment and the circumstances.
I think it is made hard because of the stigma it carries, sadly this is a stigma put on by people you don´t approve and that only try to scare you into not having it done. At that time abortions where illegal in Mexico and found this out after clinics hang up on me until one was kind enough to tell me, so I went north and am thankful that I did.

janice b.
jan b5 years ago

Try and feed yourself on $31 a week ... food stamps which will not purchase paper products and many other things.

janice b.
jan b5 years ago

When the men walk away from reponsibility which is often ......the women who go along with the unwanted pregnancy go on welfare.....and then are mocked.