There are many reasons why women get abortions. Many would argue that some of these reasons are better than others. Some would even say there’s never a good reason, while still others assert that no good reason is needed at all. While the debate rages on grounds of morality, religion, human rights, quality of life, freedom of choice, etc, it is important to step back from the philosophical arguments, and take a deeper look at the true-life, everyday reasons why women get an abortion. The woman who walks into the abortion clinic in Brooklyn is not interested in the politician on his soapbox, she has real issues to face.
According to a recent survey, when women who had an abortion were asked what their primary reason was, the most common answer at 25% was that they felt they were not ready for the responsibility, with another 7% similarly saying that they were not mature enough to take care of the child at the time. The second most common answer at 23% was that they lacked the necessary financial income needed in order to provide for the child.
For these women, this decision is not a preference, but a reality. Keep in mind 50 million Americans are currently uninsured, and many women who get an abortion fall below the poverty line. Now consider the cost of an average hospital birth is $8,000, and by the time you add up prenatal care and other expenses, you’re talking $10,000 out of pocket just to cover the birth alone. Never mind the cost of taking care of the child, feeding the child, and the fact that you may have to quit your job or work part time in order to look after the baby. Let’s not forget that many of these women are teenagers who lack the necessary parenting skills to properly rear a child, and students who do not have a steady flow of income to even support themselves.
Another 19% of the women questioned, stated that they had other family responsibilities or already had enough kids to look after. While these responses may seem a little more self-centered than the previous ones, they may very well overlap. They may have exhausted all their resources of time and money on their current families and children, and would not be able to provide the same care and happiness for any more.
Among some of the other reasons included the health of both the baby and the mother (7%). It is statistically proven that when a medical abortion procedure is done, like the ones given in a professional abortion clinic in New York, it is significantly safer for the pregnant woman than giving birth. The same is true for the abortion pill. And pregnancy becomes even more of a risk when talking about young teenage girls whose bodies have not fully developed.
Other common reasons for having an abortion focused on the fear of what would lie ahead in the future for both the child and the mother. 4% cited that the responsibility of taking care of a child would interfere with education and/or their career plans. This not only affects their own current ambitions, but also their long-term ability to provide for the child. And additionally, another 8% mentioned problems in their relationship with the father as well as the fear of single motherhood. Instability in the home, especially experienced at an early age, can create devastating psychological effects on children, while trying to meet the financial demands, time commitments, and deal with the emotional stress of raising a child all on your own can certainly take its toll.
It is always a difficult decision to have an abortion. Unfortunately, many of these women do not have the privilege of sitting in their ivory towers and discussing the morality and social rights of the issue. And while abortion is not always the way to go, many of these women feel that they really had no other choice, and would be horrified to contemplate the future for both themselves and the child if they did not have that as an option.