The National Right to Life Committee on Tuesday disputed claims that restrictions on abortion "disproportionately affect" poor women.
The committe was coming against assertions made in "Changes in Abortion Rates Between 2000 and 2008 and Lifetime Incidence of Abortion," published online Monday in the June 2011 issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Researchers from the Guttmacher Institute, originally founded as a special research affiliate of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, authored the report.
"Data showing an 8 percent drop in abortion rates across the board from 2000 to 2008 are encouraging," says Randall K. O'Bannon, Ph.D., National Right to Life director of education and research. "Guttmacher suggests that higher abortion rates among poorer woman and abortion restrictions are somehow connected, yet it's a thesis that goes undefended. How common sense regulations like right-to-know laws, which tell women about abortion's risks and alternatives which are better for both them and their unborn children, and similar protective measures, are supposed to hurt poor women is hard to fathom."
The overall downward trend seems to indicate that such laws, along with the assistance provided by pregnancy care centers, which provide lifesaving alternatives to abortion, are enabling more women to choose life for their unborn child, according to the National Right to Life Committee. However, several states--California, New York and at least a dozen others--publicly fund abortion for poor women.
"While the abortion industry saw declines among most demographic groups, it just happened to see growth among women for whom states were covering abortion costs," says O'Bannon. "The fact is, when tax dollars pay for abortion, you get more abortion."
According to its own 2008-2009 annual report, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America showed over $1 billion in revenues, including $363.3 million in "Government Grants & Contracts." That's an increase from $165 million in 1998. At a time when the overall number of abortions has decreased, Planned Parenthood Federation of America reports performing 332,278 abortions for the period covered in the 2009 report--accounting for more than 27 percent of all abortions performed annually in the United States.
"The abortion industry likes to argue that high abortion rates are due to insufficient government funding for 'family planning,' but the record seems at odds with that assertion," Obannon says. "As abortion industry giant Planned Parenthood has received hundreds of millions of tax dollars each year, abortions at their facilities have steadily increased at rates that very nearly match their increases in government funding
"Ultimately, the report says less about pro-life laws and more about the aggressiveness of the abortion industry that, funded by tax dollars in many states, exploited poorer women during the recession and profited from their misery. If more women choose life for their unborn children as a result of pro-life legislative initiatives, the abortion industry knows that it will adversely impact their financial bottom line."
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