Demographics of Second Trimester Abortions

A study by Guttmacher on the demographics of late term abortions shows that black women and less educated women (which refers to both women that did not finish high school and those that either earned a GED or a high school diploma) are the most likely to get a second trimester abortion, which are more costly, harder to access, and pose more health risks than procedures performed earlier in pregnancy. Late detection of pregnancy; cost; barriers to access; and difficulty deciding what to do are some of the reasons that women get second trimester abortions. When asked, these women said that they preferred to receive earlier abortions. The study concluded that black women and those less educated would benefit the most from early access to abortion services. But for this to happen, the pro-choice movement needs to better address the issue of finding comprehensive solutions to abortion accessibility.

Minority and less-educated women are less likely to have their voices heard in the reproductive movements, because they, as a political identity, have less access to institutions of power. Without discounting the vital work of organizations like SisterSong, I think that the larger reproductive movement can do more to address the needs of minority and less-educated women. Without fully understanding the needs of these populations, the movement cannot completely successful in reproductive justice. This study by Guttmacher is a great step towards providing a foundation for future actions. [Read more...]

New Hampshire Joins the Trend of States Defunding Planned Parenthood

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Another week, another state pulling the plug on Planned Parenthood. Yesterday the New Hampshire Executive Council, composed entirely of Republicans, voted 3-2 to cancel the state’s contract with the besieged healthcare provider. In addition to losing $1.8 million in state money, Planned Parenthood has lost its ability to provide contraceptives and antibiotics to women that don’t have health insurance. According to TPM, women had been able to fill prescriptions at PP for an average of $5. This decision is expected to affect approximately 120 women each day.

So what’s the rationale that politicians in the “Live Free or Die” state have used for curtailing women’s healthcare choices? [Read more...]

Apparently Women in D.C. Have Really Pricey Abortions

I don’t know about you, but I breathed a huge sigh of relief on Saturday morning. The government shutdown was averted, without sacrificing Planned Parenthood! Yay, bullet dodged!

… and then I learned that that bullet was actually headed straight for pregnant, low-income women in the District of Columbia. Because not only did House Speaker John Boehner want to limit government funding for Planned Parenthood and other nonprofits that provide abortion services, he also wanted to restrict funding on abortions in D.C. So a compromise was worked out: D.C. funding was cut, but the funds to nonprofits were safe.

Look, I get that an argument can be made for this outcome. Planned Parenthood and other nonprofits serve a huge number of men and women, and can now continue to do this very necessary work. And to take even more of a “greater good” perspective – if the government actually had shut down last weekend, hundreds of thousands of people would have been affected, and D.C. would have essentially come to a halt. As a proud resident of the District of Columbia, I’m really glad that we’ll continue to have things like trash pick-up and parking enforcement, and that the businesses in my neighborhood that depend on the income of government workers won’t suffer.

[Read more...]