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Why Do Women Have Abortions?

Aida Torres and Jacqueline Darroch Forrest
Family Planning Perspectives
Vol. 20, No. 4 (Jul. - Aug., 1988), pp. 169-176
Published by: Guttmacher Institute
DOI: 10.2307/2135792
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2135792
Page Count: 8
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Why Do Women Have Abortions?
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Abstract

Most respondents to a survey of abortion patients in 1987 said that more than one factor had contributed to their decision to have an abortion; the mean number of reasons was nearly four. Three-quarters said that having a baby would interfere with work, school or other responsibilities, about two-thirds said they could not afford to have a child and half said they did not want to be a single parent or had relationship problems. A multivariate analysis showed young teenagers to be 32 percent more likely than women 18 or over to say they were not mature enough to raise a child and 19 percent more likely to say their parents wanted them to have an abortion. Unmarried women were 17 percent more likely than currently married women to choose abortion to prevent others from knowing they had had sex or became pregnant. Of women who had an abortion at 16 or more weeks' gestation, 71 percent attributed their delay to not having realized they were pregnant or not having known soon enough the actual gestation of their pregnancy. Almost half were delayed because of trouble in arranging the abortion, usually because they needed time to raise money. One-third did not have an abortion earlier because they were afraid to tell their partner or parents that they were pregnant. A multivariate analysis revealed that respondents under age 18 were 39 percent more likely than older women to have delayed because they were afraid to tell their parents or partner.

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