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Why Women Choose Abortion - Statistical Breakdown of Reasons For Abortion

Impact of Pregnancy, Financial Concerns, and Relationship Problems Top List


By the Numbers - Statistical Breakdown of Reasons

In a study released by the Guttmacher Institute in 2005, women were asked to provide reasons why they chose to have an abortion (multiple responses were permissible). Of those who gave at least one reason:
  • 89% gave at least two
  • 72% gave at least three
Nearly three-quarters said they could not afford to have a baby.

Of those women who gave two or more answers, the most common response -- inability to afford a baby -- was most frequently followed by one of three other reasons:

  • pregnancy/birth/baby would interfere with school or employment
  • reluctant to be a single mother or experiencing relationship problems
  • done with childbearing or already have other children/dependents
Below is a breakdown of women's responses that specified reasons that led to their abortion decision (percentage total will not add up to 100% as multiple answers were permissible):
  • 74% felt "having a baby would dramatically change my life" (which includes interrupting education, interfering with job and career, and/or concern over other children or dependents)
  • 73% felt they "can't afford a baby now" (due to various reasons such as being unmarried, being a student, inability to afford childcare or basic needs of life, etc.)
  • 48% "don't want to be a single mother or [were] having relationship problem[s]"
  • 38% "have completed [their] childbearing"
  • 32% were "not ready for a(nother) child"
  • 25% "don't want people to know I had sex or got pregnant"
  • 22% "don't feel mature enough to raise a(nother) child"
  • 14% felt their "husband or partner wants me to have an abortion"
  • 13% said there were "possible problems affecting the health of the fetus"
  • 12% said there were "physical problems with my health"
  • 6% felt their "parents want me to have an abortion"
  • 1% said they were "a victim of rape"
  • <0.5% "became pregnant as a result of incest"

Finer, Lawrence B. and Lori F. Frohwirth, Lindsay A. Dauphinee, Susheela Singh and Ann F. Moore. "Reasons U.S. Women Have Abortions: Quantitative and Qualitiative Perspectives."Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, Guttmacher.org, September 2005.
White, Angela. "Cost of Giving Birth at the Hospital or at Home." Blisstree.com, 21 September 2008.
"Why It Matters: Teen Pregnancy and Education." The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, retrieved 19 May 2009.

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