Abortion in the United States is at its lowest level since 1973, but women who are denied abortions are left with a devastating economic burden, ongoing research finds. While a study by the Guttmacher Institute published last week shows that the number of abortions fell to the lowest number since the landmark Roe vs. Wade decision 41 years ago, half of pregnancies among American women are still unintended, and 21 percent of pregnancies (not counting miscarriages) end in abortion. Women who have no choice but to go ahead with their pregnancies are faced with both a emotional and financial cost, according to one prominent researcher.
Tracy Weitz, an abortion researcher, spoke with ProPublica about a study investigating the outcomes for women who are refused abortions. She found that the main reason women are terminating their pregnancies is because they can't afford to have a child. Those women, Weitz said, are correct: the cost of raising a child until age 18 is an eye-watering $241,080, according to a Department of Agriculture report published last year.
"Two years later, women who had a baby they weren't expecting to have, compared to the women who had the abortion they wanted, are three times more likely to be living in poverty," Weitz said.