Taxpayer Funding Increases Abortions among Poor Women

Steven Ertelt,

A major pro-life group is responding to the study released by a pro-abortion organization saying abortion rates have fallen for women as a whole but increased for women below the poverty line. The National Right to Life Committee blames taxpayer funding.

As LifeNews reported, the new study in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology indicates the abortion rate has decreased in the United States — good news because it means more pregnant women are opting against having an abortion. However, the report presents news that should spark a drive to help more women below the poverty level find pregnancy resources and support because it indicates poor women are having abortions at a higher rate than before.

The new report was published by the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion research group formerly affiliated with the Planned Parenthood abortion business. According to Guttmacher, poor women accounted for 42 percent of all abortions in 2008, and their abortion rate increased 18 percent between 2000 and 2008, from 44.4 to 52.2 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44. In comparison, the national abortion rate for 2008 was 19.6 per 1,000, reflecting an eight percent decline from a rate of 21.3 in 2000.

NRLC officials disputed Guttmacher’s claims that restrictions on abortion “disproportionately affect” poor women.

“Data showing an eight percent drop in abortion rates across the board from 2000 to 2008 are encouraging,” said Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D., National Right to Life director of education and research.

“Guttmacher suggests that higher abortion rates among poorer woman and abortion restrictions are somehow connected, yet it’s a thesis that goes undefended,” O’Bannon further noted. “How common sense regulations like right-to-know laws, which tell women about abortion’s risks and alternatives which are better for both them and their unborn children, and similar protective measures, are supposed to hurt poor women is hard to fathom.”

The researcher says the overall downward trend seems to indicate that such laws, along with the assistance provided by pregnancy care centers, which provide lifesaving alternatives to abortion, are enabling more women to choose life for their unborn child. However, several states – California, New York and at least a dozen others – publicly fund abortion for poor women with taxpayer money, which O’Bannon blames for increasing the abortion rates for poor women receiving the free or reduced-cost abortions.

“While the abortion industry saw declines among most demographic groups, it just happened to see growth among women for whom states were covering abortion costs,” observed O’Bannon. “The fact is, when tax dollars pay for abortion, you get more abortion.”

The Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), according to their own 2008-2009 annual report, showed over $1 billion in revenues, including $363.3 million in “Government Grants & Contracts” (an increase from $165 million in 1998).

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