Despite the plasted pictures of fetuses that are so ubiquitous at anti-abortion protests and literature, nearly 90 percent of all Americans abortions occur in the first tri-mester of pregnancy. The 10 percent who undergo the procedure at 13 weeks gestation or later tend to be “women with lower educational levels, black women and women who have experienced multiple disruptive events in the last year, such as unemployment or separating from a partner,” a new comprehensive survey from the Guttmacher Institute finds. Second-trimester abortions are more expensive, pose greater health risks, and are offered by fewer providers.
The data also demonstrates that conservatives and anti-abortion activists seeking to limit access to the procedure through burdensome regulations of abortion facilities or other restrictions are targeting society’s most vulnerable women and are “all but guaranteed to make these women’s lives more difficult“:
– 14 percent of women undergoing second-trimester abortion were under 30; 9 percent were 30 or older.
– 13 percent of women were African American; 9 percent were non-Hispanic whites.
– 13 percent had not graduated from high school; 6 percent had college degrees.
– 15 percent experienced three or more disruptive events; 9 percent experienced no disruptive events.
The study suggests that less educated women “may have had less knowledge about reproduction and taken longer to recognize they were pregnant” or may have had a harder time tracking down abortion providers during the first trimester or faced difficulties paying for the procedure. Similarly, women who underwent disruptive life events likely faced delays “in recognizing the pregnancy as well as delays in accessing services.” [HT: Irin Carmon]