Study tracks lasting effect of having an abortion — or being denied one

What did you learn about the lives of women who were denied abortions after five years of follow-up conversations?

We see a couple of areas where their lives dramatically diverge in outcomes [from women who got abortions]. The first is health. Consistent with the medical literature, carrying a pregnancy to term and delivering a child is much more physically risky than having an abortion, even a later abortion. We see much more severe physical health complications from birth, including most tragically, two women who died after delivery — one died of an infection and one died of a very common pregnancy complication.

The other area that we see big differences is in socioeconomic well-being. This is not just about poverty, although we see that people who are denied abortions are more likely to live in households where there just isn’t enough money for basic living needs… And they’re more likely to be raising children alone if they are denied the abortion than if they receive one. They’re equally likely to be in a relationship, whether they received or were denied an abortion.

But those who receive the abortion report that their relationship is higher quality. So it’s changing fundamental aspects of people’s lives, including their chance at having children later under better circumstances.

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