Most Poor Women Would've Gotten Abortions Earlier, But Needed Time to Raise Money for the Costly Procedure


With the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade coming up next week, the Guttmacher Institute released a series of infographics to illustrate how far we have (or really haven’t) come in women’s healthcare rights.

One of the statistics that jumped out at me was the devastating effect costly and difficult to access medical care has on poor women (those with family incomes less than one hundred percent of the federal poverty level). I know all of this, but to see exactly how many women must forgo paying rent to afford a much needed abortion, and the time wasted with all that scrimping and saving, is heartbreaking.

From a 2011 study on abortion rates amongst various groups of women:

“That abortion is becoming increasingly concentrated among poor women suggests the need for better contraceptive access and family planning counseling. It certainly appears these women are being underserved,” says study author Rachel K. Jones. “Antiabortion restrictions and cuts to publicly funded family planning services disproportionately affect poor women, making it even more difficult for them to gain access to the contraceptive and abortion services they need.”

The Guttmacher Institute also informs us that 2011 and 2012 brought the highest number of state-level abortion restrictions since the enactment of Roe v. Wade, and half of all U.S. women of reproductive age (15–44) now live in a state that is hostile to abortion rights, whereas fewer than one-third did a decade ago. All of this is making it more difficult for women with the means to obtain healthcare, but the consequences are even more horrendous on poor women and their health.

Stupid, scary stuff.

[Guttmacher Institute]

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