How Women Decide
After a woman confirms that she is pregnant (assuming that she was not trying to conceive), she must then decide whether to carry the pregnancy and keep the child, give the child up for adoption, or have an abortion. Abortion is a last resort for women who are faced with pregnancies they did not want. Research indicates that women rely on practical and emotional matters to make their decisions about their dilemma (Wind, 2006). Concern and responsibility for others is a frequent reason for choosing to terminate the pregnancy. Women without children often say they are unprepared for motherhood, and women who already have one or more children cite their desire to be a good parent and the difficulties in meeting their current responsibilities as a mother as their primary reason for needing an abortion (Guttmacher Institute, 2011a; R. Jones et al., 2008).
In the United States two thirds of women who have abortions say their primary reason is that they cannot afford a child, and 60% of abortions occur among those with an annual income below $28,000 for a family of three (Boonstra et al., 2006). Unfortunately, in part because of the erosion of government-funded contraceptive services between 1994 and 2008, low-income women were considerably more likely to have an unplanned pregnancy than are higher-income women (Wind, 2006). After President Obama’s election in 2008, his administration increased government-funded family planning services to help reduce rates of unplanned pregnancy and abortion (Slaetan, 2009). However, by 2012 tens of thousands of teenagers and low-income women lost access to subsidized contraception as many states with Republican-led legislatures cut or reduced funding for family planning services (Simon, 2012).