Denying Abortions, outcomes examined - Turnaway Study, May 2022

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:

Before the Turnaway Study, there was little quality research on the physical and social consequences of unwanted pregnancy for women.

For over 10 years, Dr. Foster and her team of researchers tracked the experiences of women who’d received abortions or who had been denied them because of clinic policies on gestational age limits.

The research team regularly interviewed each of nearly 1,000 women for five years and found those who’d been denied abortion experienced worse economic and mental health outcomes than the cohort that received care. And 95% of study participants who received an abortion said they made the right decision.

The idea for the Turnaway Study emerged from a 2007 Supreme Court abortion case, Gonzales v. Carhart . In the majority opinion upholding a ban on a specific procedure used rarely in later abortions, (the 82 year old male Justice Anthony Kennedy ( had the f’n audacity to judge woman, when he) speculated that abortions led to poor mental health:

“While we find no reliable data to measure the phenomenon, it seems unexceptionable to conclude some women come to regret their choice to abort the infant life they once created and sustained,” he wrote. “Severe depression and loss of esteem can follow.” …

Women turned away from getting an abortion are more likely to stay in contact with a violent partner. They are also more likely to raise the resulting child alone.

  • Physical violence from the man involved in the pregnancy decreased for women who received abortions but not for the women who were denied abortions and gave birth. 3
  • By five years, women denied abortions were more likely to be raising children alone – without family members or male partners – compared to women who received an abortion. 1

The financial wellbeing and development of children is negatively impacted when their mothers are denied abortion
• The children women already have at the time they seek abortions show worse child development when their mother is denied an abortion compared to the children of women who receive one. 6
• Children born as a result of abortion denial are more likely to live below the federal poverty level
than children born from a subsequent pregnancy to women who received the abortion. 7
• Carrying an unwanted pregnancy to term is associated with poorer maternal bonding, such as feeling trapped or resenting the baby, with the child born after abortion denial, compared to the
next child born to a woman who received an abortion. 7

There’s more!!!

The Right Wingnuts plan for the US, what do Americans want?

Sen. Lindsey Graham introduced a bill that would ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, the most significant proposal by Republicans in Congress to curtail the procedure since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade three months ago. Senate Democratic candidates immediately tried to link their Republican opponents to Graham’s bill, but the South Carolina Republican defended his legislation as a bulwark against late-term abortions. CNN’s Melanie Zanona reports. #CNN #News

5:00

LET’S BE CLEAR HERE. THE VAST MAJORITY OF REPUBLICANS

IN CONGRESS WOULD SUPPORT – HAVE SUPPORTED SOME FORM OF

ABORTION. IT’S NOT THEY DON’T SUPPORT THIS

ON THE SUBSTANCE. WHAT THEY DON’T WANT TO DO IS

BRING IT UP RIGHT NOW. THEY KNOW THIS HAS GALVANIZED

MANY VOTERS, INCLUDING INDEPENDENT VOTERS AND SUBURBAN

VOTERS AND VOTERS THEY NEED IN NOVEMBER.

The GOP is waiting for the liberals and Democrats to lose interest and start snoozing again, then they’ll be ready to act en masse.

My wife is usually not into politics, but the recent Supreme Court decision on abortion has her fired up like I’ve never seen before.

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"Entanglement " well your moniker is plenty titillating, welcome to CFI.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

So your wife discovered politics matters? I hope she also realizes that her voice matters and she should speak her piece.

Incidentally, she might be interested in a little essay by Rachel Richardson Smith wrote decades back on the topic of abortion. This essay was writing back in the 1980s and remains the most insightful single piece of writing on the topic I’ve read.

It’s the sort of thing a man could never have written, though we can recognize the honesty in it.

Abortion, Right and Wrong, By Rachel Richardson Smith

I cannot bring myself to say I am in favor of abortion. I don’t want anyone to have one. I want people to use contraceptives and for those contraceptives to be foolproof. I want people to be responsible for their actions, mature in their decisions. I want children to be loved, wanted, well cared for.

I cannot bring myself to say I am against choice. I want women who are young, poor, single or all three to be able to direct the course of their lives. I want women who have had all the children they want or can afford or their in bad marriages or destructive relationships to avoid being trapped by pregnancy.

So these days when thousands rally in opposition to legalized abortion, when facilities providing abortions are bombed, when the president speaks glowingly of the growing momentum behind the anti-abortion movement, I find myself increasingly alienated from those pro-life groups.

At the same time, I am overwhelmed with mail from pro-choice groups. They, too, are mobilizing their forces, growing articulate in support of their cause, and they want my support. I am not sure I can give it.

I find myself in the awkward position of being both anti-abortion and pro-choice. Neither group seems to be completely right—or wrong. It is not that I think abortion is wrong for me but acceptable for someone else. The question is far more complex than that.

Part of my problem is that what I think and how I feel about this issue are two entirely different matters. I know that unwanted children are often neglected, even abandoned. I know that making abortion illegal will not stop all women from having them.
I also know from experience the crisis an unplanned pregnancy can cause. Yet I have felt the joy of giving birth, the delight that comes from feeling a baby’s skin against my own. I know how hard it is to parent a child and how deeply dissatisfying it can be. My children sometimes provoke me and cause me endless frustration, but I can still look at them with tenderness and wonder at the miracle of it all. The lessons of my own experience produce conflicting emotions. Theory collides with reality.

It concerns me that both groups present themselves in absolutes. They are committed and they want me to commit. They do not recognize that gray area where I seem to be languishing. Each group has the right answer—the only answer.

Yet I am uncomfortable in either camp. I have nothing in common with the pro-lifers. I am horrified by their scare tactics, their pictures of well-formed fetuses tossed in a metal pan, their cruel slogans. I cannot condone their flagrant misuse of Scripture and unforgiving spirit. There is meanness about their position that causes them to pass judgment on the lives of women in a way I could never do.

The pro-life groups, with their fundamentalist religious attitudes, have a fear and an abhorrence of sex, especially premarital sex. In their view abortion only compounds the sexual sin. What I find incomprehensible is that even as they are opposed to abortion they are also opposed to alternative solutions. They are squeamish about sex education in the schools. They don’t want teens to have contraceptives without parental consent. They offer little aid or sympathy to unwed mothers. They are the vigilant guardians of a narrow morality.

I wonder how abortion got to be the greatest of all sins? What about poverty, ignorance, hunger, weaponry?

The only thing the anti-abortion groups seem to have right is that abortion is indeed the taking of human life. I simply cannot escape this one glaring fact. Call it what you will—fertilized egg, embryo, fetus. What we have here is human life. If it were just a mass of tissue there would be no debate. So I agree that abortion ends a life. But the anti-abortionists are wrong to call it murder.

The sad truth is that homicide is not always against the law. Our society does not categorically recognize the sanctity of human life. There are a number of legal and apparently socially acceptable ways to take human life. There are a number of legal and apparently socially acceptable ways to take human life. “Justifiable” homicide includes the death penalty, war, killing in self-defense. It seems to me that as a society we need to come to grips with our own ambiguity concerning the value of human life. If we are to value and protect unborn life so stringently, why do we not also value and protect life already born?

Why can’t we see abortion for the human tragedy it is? No woman plans for her life to turn out that way. Even the most effective contraceptives are no guarantee against pregnancy. Loneliness, ignorance, immaturity can lead to decisions (or lack of decisions) that may result in untimely pregnancy. People make mistakes.

What many people seem to misunderstand is that no woman wants to have an abortion. Circumstances demand it; women do it. No woman reacts to abortion with joy. Relief, yes. But also ambivalence, grief, despair, guilt.

The pro-choice groups do not seem to acknowledge that abortion is not a perfect answer. What goes unsaid is that when a woman has an abortion she loses more than an unwanted pregnancy. Often she loses her self-respect. No woman can forget a pregnancy no matter how it ends.

Why can we not view abortion as one of those anguished decisions in which human beings struggle to do the best they can in trying circumstances? Why is abortion viewed so coldly and factually on the one hand and so judgmentally on the other? Why is it not akin to the same painful experience families must sometimes make to allow a loved one to die?

I wonder how we can begin to change the context in which we think about abortion. How can we begin to think about it preemptively? What is it in the trauma of loss of life—be it loved, born or unborn—from which we can learn? There is much I have yet to resolve. Even as I refuse to pass judgments on other women’s lives, I weep for the children who might have been. I suspect I am not alone.

Abortion, Right and Wrong
By Rachel Richardson Smith

To be clear, my wife and I always vote, no matter what. We both vote in primaries, in off-year elections, in primaries for off-year elections and so forth. The only question at each election cycle is how much money are we going to donate, and how much volunteer time. In the 2020 election, we joined a postcard group where we bought our own postcards, and hand wrote & mailed 1,100 postcards to like-minded voters to give them information on how to vote by mail. Writing postcards is our favorite way to volunteer to help win elections.

But usually in the past, it would be me listening & reading the politics daily and telling her about it. Lately I’m the one who is tuned out (it causes me stress and I have to just not look), and she’s telling me about the day’s political events.

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:+1:t2:

Spooky stuff going on for sure. My wife does the twitter so keeps me informed on latest talk about town, and I do fact checking for her.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, the decision to terminate or not terminate a pregnancy should be between the woman and her doctor, not decided by men in congress who want to control women and their bodies. That said, I have always voted in the presidential elections and most recently, I’ve begun voting in the midterms.

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Indian State Senator Shelli Yoder

A judge in Indiana just stopped a statewide abortion ban from taking effect. Indiana State Senator Shelli Yoder joins Katie Phang to discuss.

https://www.indianasenatedemocrats.org/yoder-responds-to-scotuss-dobbs-ruling/

Background,

Yoder Responds to SCOTUS’s Dobbs Ruling

June 24, 2022

BLOOMINGTON—Today, the Supreme Court issued their decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization . The opinion reneges on 5 decades of previous law, essentially overturning the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling and returning the issue of abortion to individual states. State Senator Shelli Yoder (D-Bloomington) released the following statement:

“The ruling handed down by the Supreme Court today is not a ‘pro-life’ victory as it will be touted by anti-choice activists. In fact, as a result of this ruling, countless women will lose their lives to poverty, to back alley abortionists, to risky pregnancies and to unforgiving, fundamentally invasive public policy. Make no mistake, this decision is not about preserving lives—it is about controlling them.”

Yoder continued, “This decision is part of a larger, hyper-conservative movement to erode privacy rights and to retroactively erase decades of civil rights progress. This ruling forces women of all faiths, races and beliefs across America to legally submit to a narrow, remarkably backwards judgment of their bodily autonomy and societal value. It undermines all American aspirations of equality, justice and freedom. If we truly believed in justice, in freedom, we would let women make their own decisions without fear of state retribution. I can only hope Indiana’s Legislature lets current law stand and realizes that a vote against abortion access is a vote against women’s rights, healthcare privacy, families and the will and lives of Hoosiers. A woman will always be better-equipped than her government to make this decision: to assume anything else is a grave insult to the intellect and independence of all women, pro-choice and ‘pro-life’ alike.”

Interesting !

Human embryos kept alive in lab for unprecedented 13 days so scientists can watch development

BySarah Knapton, SCIENCE EDITOR4 May 2016 • 6:00pm

Human embryos were grown for 13 days in a lab
Human embryos were grown for 13 days in a lab CREDIT: University of Cambridge

Human embryos have been kept alive in a petri dish for an unprecedented 13 days, allowing scientists to finally see what happens in the mysterious days after implantation in the womb…

READ MORE ABOUT:

Is this University committing murder?

It is killing, but it is not murder.
It is also playing God with life and Evolution.

For most of human history, for most of humanity, the first breath of life heralded a new sacred person into the family, community. Life is precious from it’s first moment of concept, (animal life is no less sacred in the eyes of Mother Nature, or God) but that little embryo evolve into fetuses, sacred life, but no person,… yet…

After all, we are all simply evolved biological sensory creatures, each a strand in Earth’s pageant of Evolution.

Mother Nature does NOT consider life sacred. It has no morals of any kind and kills anything that is not able to survive on its own in its environment…
Natural Selection, remember?

How many fertilized eggs make it to the embryo stage?

Yeah if you wanna be a prig about it, guess you be all offended by the use of “sacred” since it is often wrapped up in religion and God.

But for me “sacred” is something one feels inside, the evoking of spiritual sensations, sense of oneness with surrounding and others, sense of wholeness, of ‘being at home’ - something that registers with a tingle deep down in your gut and a twinkle in your eye, something emotional, plain old goodness.

It’s not about morality.

It’s about not being afraid to personalize our relationship with the universe we are born out of and will die back into. But sure, as Sagan would remind us, have an open mind but not so open that it falls out.

Here’s where that appreciation for the Human Mindscape ~ Physical Reality divide is so important. I have a deep appreciation for the difference between the thoughts and feelings my mind produces and the physical reality of that biology you are sharing with your stages of development.

Apparently all you see is a collection of cells, I see a potential human and that’s worth being considered sacred, even though I do understand it’s a human concept and not one the real Mother Nature could possess.

I also believe that calling it sacred doesn’t mean it can’t ever be killed, after all, death, dying is part of that sacred circle, ain’t it? :cowboy_hat_face:

CC, you may be skeptical, but I do truly “grok” you. I think “life” is the ultimate evolved expresssion of natural dynamics and deserves to be maintained and nurtured.

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Hey, I was replying to your comment. :v:t2:

I know, as they say in the movies, “we’re good with each other”

Besides, half the time you’re pulling my chain out of curiosity, and it’s cool, plus
I’ll use whatever opportunities I get, to try to better explain myself to others, and to myself, for that matter.