Sunday, October 30, 2005

New PP poll on why women abort

Planned Parenthood has published the results of their latest research on reasons women give for undergoing induced abortions.
RESULTS: The reasons most frequently cited were that having a child would interfere with a woman's education, work or ability to care for dependents (74%); that she could not afford a baby now (73%); and that she did not want to be a single mother or was having relationship problems (48%). Nearly four in 10 women said they had completed their childbearing, and almost one-third were not ready to have a child.

There's an interesting reflection on "maternal and fetal indications." Most people would probably assume that the woman has a severe health problem such that her doctor is recommending an abortion, or that she's discovered that the fetus has a severe birth defect. But what the in-depth interviews found was different:
Seven percent of women cited health concerns for themselves or possible problems affecting the health of the fetus as their most important reason....

Women who felt that their fetus's health had been compromised cited concerns such as a lack of prenatal care, the risk of birth defects due to advanced maternal age, a history of miscarriages, maternal cocaine use and fetal exposure to prescription medications. Concerns about personal health included chronic and life-threatening conditions such as depression, advanced maternal age and toxemia.

In other words, the seven percent of abortions sought for "maternal and fetal indications" includes women who self-referred for abortion based on their own perception of risks. The survey did not in any way break down the statistics or make any effort to verify that the woman's perception was accurate. Also, the research did not indicate if these women were given any information by the provider about the actual risks, as opposed to their perceived risks.

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