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Abortion in the United States

To set up an interview with one of our experts, contact Rebecca Wind at 212-248-1953 or mediaworks@guttmacher.org

Guttmacher Expert Statements

Susan Cohen

Susan Cohen
Director of Government Affairs

WOMEN OF COLOR EXPERIENCE DISPARITIES IN UNINTENDED PREGNANCY AND ABORTION

“There really is no need to resort to far-flung conspiracy theories. Behind virtually every abortion is an unintended pregnancy. And because women of color are much more likely to experience unintended pregnancies than any other group, they are also more likely to seek and obtain abortions than any other group.”

“Fundamentally, the question policymakers should be asking is not why women of color have high abortion rates, but rather what can be done to help them have fewer unintended pregnancies and achieve better health outcomes more generally.”

GROWING DISPARITIES IN UNINTENDED PREGNANCY AND ABORTION AMONG POOR WOMEN

“Reproductive health disparities, and health disparities more generally, are endemic in this country and stem from broader, persistent economic and social inequities. We need to bridge these reproductive health gaps by ensuring that all women, regardless of their economic circumstances, have meaningful access to the full spectrum of information and services—both contraceptive services to reduce levels of unintended pregnancy and abortion services.”

“In this time of heightened politicization around abortion, our stalled progress should be an urgent message to policymakers that we need to do more to increase access to contraceptive services to prevent unintended pregnancy, while ensuring access to abortion services for the many women who still need them.”

Rachel Jones

Rachel Jones
Senior Research Associate

ACCESS TO MEDICATION ABORTION PROMOTES EARLY PROCEDURES

"For many years, nearly 90% of abortions in the United States have taken place in the first trimester, but in recent years, women having an abortion have been able to do so earlier in the first trimester than in the past. Currently, more than six in 10 abortions occur within the first eight weeks of pregnancy, and more than three in 10 take place at six weeks or earlier. Medication abortion, which provides women with an additional option early in pregnancy, clearly reinforces this trend.”

ABORTION INCREASINGLY CONCENTRATED AMONG POOR WOMEN

“That abortion is becoming increasingly concentrated among poor women suggests the need for better contraceptive access and family planning counseling. It certainly appears these women are being underserved.”


Lawrence Finer
Director of Domestic Research

IMPROVING CONTRACEPTIVE USE TO REDUCE UNINTENDED PREGNANCY AND ABORTION

"The United States has one of the highest abortion rates in the developed world, with women from every age-group and socioeconomic, racial, ethnic and religious subgroup obtaining abortions."

"We study abortion so we can learn more about how well current efforts to improve contraceptive use and reduce unintended pregnancy are working, the circumstances under which women have difficulty accessing abortion and, ultimately, how to reduce the need for abortion."

GROWING DISPARITIES IN UNINTENDED PREGNANCY AND ABORTION AMONG POOR WOMEN

“Gaps in unintended pregnancy and abortion between poor and more affluent women have been increasing since the mid-1990s.”


Elizabeth Nash
State Issues Manager

STATE-LEVEL ASSAULT ON ABORTION RIGHTS CONTINUES

"Abortion opponents have a long-term strategy to restrict abortion access in the states, which is reshaping the abortion policy landscape state by state."

"There has been a widespread assault on abortion rights and access at the state level. Between 2011 and 2013, there were 205 abortion restrictions enacted in 30 states and the types of restrictions enacted are more burdensome and extreme than those we were seeing just a few years before."