New Study Finds Women Denied Abortion More Likely to Be in Poverty
A recent study conducted by UC San Francisco's Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH) found that women who are denied an abortion in the United States are three times more likely to be under the federal poverty line. Of 956 women who sought abortion care, the study found that 65% of "turnaways" (women who were denied abortion care) were below the poverty line compared to 56% of women who had abortions. Two years after seeking an abortion, turnaways were three times more likely to be below the poverty level compared to women had abortions.
The "Turnaway Study" also tackles other stigmas surrounding abortion in the United States such as mental health, drug use, and violence experienced by turnaways compared to women who received abortion care. According to the study, there were no differences between turnaways and women who had abortions in relation to the development of clinical depression, but turnaways had higher rates of physical complications than women who had abortion procedures, even when including those who had an abortion late in a pregnancy. ANSIRH also found that there was no significant correlation between drug use and women who have abortions versus those who are turned away.
ANSIRH did determine that turnaways experienced a higher level of domestic violence compared to those who had abortion procedures (7% a year later versus 3%). Dr. Diana Greene Foster, the Principal Investigator of the study, clarified that this discrepancy is not the result of turnaways seeking more abusive relationships, but rather that women who had abortions were more likely to leave an abusive relationship than turnaways who also had a child to consider.
The "Turnaway Study" is planned to span five-years. The current findings are preliminary and were released after a two year period. Researchers interviewed 956 women who sought abortions in 30 clinics across the country. Of these women, 182 were turned away from the clinics because their pregnancies were past the legal gestational limit in their area or for other reasons. The interviews are conducted by phone every six months over the course of five years. The study includes English and Spanish speakers over the age of 15 whose pregnancies did not have fetal anomalies.
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .