UCSF researchers are studying women turned away from abortions due to state restrictions. Their first effort showed that more of them end up in poverty:
In its first analysis of turnaway data published two years ago, the team found that women seek out abortions for complicated reasons, with the most common being a feeling of financial unpreparedness. This earlier analysis also showed that 86 percent of turnaways chose to keep their children, and 67 percent of them wound up below the poverty line a year later. By comparison, 56 percent of women granted abortions in the study were below the poverty line a year later. […]
Their latest effort looks at hope for the future:
Of all the goals measured, 47 percent were achieved. There was little difference between turnaways and women who had abortions when it came to achieving their goals. However, as the researchers write in their paper, women who received abortions “were significantly more likely to have both an aspirational plan and to have achieved it” than turnaways who kept their children. Upadhyay was quick to point out that overall, most of the women’s goals were aspirational. “They all had high hopes,” she said. But Turnaways “were much more likely to have negative goals.”
What this latest phase in the Turnaway study reveals is that not having access to abortion can negatively impact women’s lives. As Upadhyay and her colleagues put it in their paper, “Whether or not a person has aspirational plans is indicative of her hope for the future. Without such plans or hopes, she misses out on opportunities to achieve milestones in life.”
Put bluntly, the Turnaways had fewer hopes, so they had fewer reasons to push themselves toward what they defined as better lives.
It’s not surprising that an unplanned and unwanted child is more likely to make you poor and hopeless – this study just puts a number on the poverty and hopelessness.