This study deserves a thread over here at CFI Forum, I first heard about it a few days back via NPR. Its findings seem a little obvious to me from my own life experiences, but science and quantification must be, so this attention is important and long over due just the same.
The Turnaway Study conducted at the University of California, San Francisco, shows that women experience harm from being denied a wanted abortion.* These findings have far-reaching implications for lawmakers, judges, health agencies and others as they consider policies that restrict abortion access.
Denying a woman an abortion creates economic hardship and insecurity which lasts for years.
- Women who were turned away and went on to give birth experienced an increase in household poverty lasting at least four years relative to those who received an abortion.
- Years after an abortion denial, women were more likely to not have enough money to cover basic living expenses like food, housing and transportation.
- Being denied an abortion lowered a woman’s credit score, increased a woman’s amount of debt and increased the number of their negative public financial records, such as bankruptcies and evictions.
Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH), based at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), is a leading research program that informs the most pressing debates on reproductive health, rights, and access.
The Turnaway Study is ANSIRH’s prospective longitudinal study examining the effects of unwanted pregnancy on women’s lives. The major aim of the study is to describe the mental health, physical health, and socioeconomic consequences of receiving an abortion compared to carrying an unwanted pregnancy to term. The main finding of The Turnaway Study is that receiving an abortion does not harm the health and wellbeing of women, but in fact, being denied an abortion results in worse financial, health and family outcomes. Highlighted resources include:
- Factsheet: The Harms of Denying a Woman a Wanted Abortion
- A Summary of Publications on The Turnaway Study
- What is The Turnaway Study?
- The Turnaway Study: Ten Years, A Thousand Women, and the Consequences of Having - or Being Denied - an Abortion
Before the Turnaway Study, there was little quality research on the physical and social consequences of unwanted pregnancy for women.