What I found so interesting about my cousin's research is the idea that most women who terminate pregnancies have some level of college education, and that women who belong to pro-life religious groups don't necessarily chose life when faced with the decision. Also my cousin's feelings, based on her field work experience, that Planned Parenthood seems to counsel with a bias towards the option of abortion, and a lack of materials and support in the area of choosing life is something I have long suspected without proof.
The rest of this post is in my beautiful, strong, smart (not so little anymore) cousin's words.
(I love you, Sandra.)
This is directly from the research paper-
The paper analyzed and researched the reasons why women seek abortions. We found that
the decision to abort or to continue a pregnancy is based on many factors, including, but not limited to: religion, education, income and marital status.
Never-married women obtain 2/3 of all abortions. Most women getting abortions (83%) are unmarried; 67% have never married, and 16% are separated, divorced, or widowed. (NAF,2003) Single women who know the father will not participate in caring for the child may feel as though having the abortion would result in better outcomes for everyone involved. “Unmarried women were more likely than married women to say their abortion was mainly motivated by relationship problems.” (The Alan Guttmacher Institute, 2005). Many feel that the most responsible course of action is to wait until their situation is more suited to child rearing; 66% plan to have children when they are older, financially able to provide necessities for them, and/or in a supportive relationship with a partner so their children will have two parents. (National Abortion Federation)
The level of education of a woman also plays a role in her decision on whether or not to abort. 3/4 say that having a baby would interfere with work, school, or other responsibilities. (GRTL,2009) Perhaps it is because of the years of school a woman intends to complete, that she opts for an abortion. Having a child could come into opposition with these plans. Of the women obtaining abortions in 2003, 57% had some college education. (National Abortion Federation, 2003)
Many women who report having strong religious beliefs will terminate a pregnancy despite those beliefs. Forty-three percent of women getting an abortion identify as Protestant & 27% as Catholic (Guttmacher Institute, 2005). So even though these religions make it very clear that abortion is 'sinful,' it does not seem like all followers abide by these religious rules.
The income of an individual impacts the decision to have an abortion. “The decision to have an abortion is rarely simple. Most women base their choice on several factors, the most common being a lack of money and/or not feeling prepared to start or expand their families due to existing responsibilities.”(National Abortion Federation)
On average, women give at least 3 reasons for choosing abortion: 3/4 say that having a baby would interfere with work, school or other responsibilities; about 2/3 say they cannot afford a child; and 1/2 say they do not want to be a single parent or are having problems with their husband or partner. (GRTL,2009) Most of the studies concluded that women frequently end pregnancies because of education goals, religion, marital status, and income.
This is what my cousin shared with me in conversation regarding the field work at Planned Parenthood:
In order to conduct the research my group members and I were asked to go out and do field work. A suggestion was to visit Planned Parenthood in order to collect information on why people make the decision to abort. My thoughts at this point were that any information they could offer would be really beneficial to our project.
The place was really difficult to find because it’s basically hidden. Now, I completely understand confidentiality issues, but this isn’t therapy. The secluded nature of the property made me feel as if people who are going there know they are doing something wrong.
After explaining who we were and why we were there, we were directed to the attention of a “counselor,” who seemed very willing to talk with us. After only about 15 minutes I learned that:
“Having a baby is a big decision not unlike picking the color of a brand new car,”
“Sometimes girls in college are too far away from home to have a baby.”
What?! It was more than challenging to keep my cool during this meeting. I left not without bringing it to everyone’s attention that I am a proud, young, single mother who is currently finishing school. I also left feeling sick to my stomach. The counselor did not mention anything about choosing life, even when I spoke up about my personal experience. These are the kind of people we have influencing young pregnant women? I think this kind of organization shouldn't be allowed to run anymore, especially because it doesn't give equal time to "counseling" life options upfront. The lives of innocent victims are being wasted and Planned Parenthood takes part largely in their deaths.
My daughter was not a choice. She was a gift, and she is the greatest one I’ve ever received.
the statistics in Sandra's paper were taken from:
Abigail, W (2008 June). Changing patterns in women seeking terminations of pregnancy: A trend analysis of data from one service provider 1996-2006 . Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 32
Adamczyk, A (2008 June). The effects of religious contextual norms, structural constraints, and personal religiosity on abortion decisions. Social Science Research, 37
Chervenak, ,F (2008, Sept). The ethics of direct and indirect referral for termination of pregnancy. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 199.3
Tanne, J (2009 Nov 29). van Emmerick, A (2008 Nov/Dec). Prevalence and prediction of re-experiencing and avoidance after elective surgical abortion: a prospective study. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 15, . British Medical Journal, 337