Not all women benefit from access to contraceptives and abortions

September 1, 2006

A recent report from the Guttmacher Institute has found a "reproductive health gap between poor women and higher-income women." According to the report, unplanned pregnancy rates for poor women have risen 29% since 1994, while the rates for higher-income women dropped 20%-this, despite greater access to contraceptives and legal abortions over the past three decades. Income also seems to have an influence over the timing of abortions: Lower-income women take up to 3 weeks longer than higher-income women to obtain an abortion-a delay that could put poorer women at greater risk.

A recent report from the Guttmacher Institute has found a "reproductive health gap between poor women and higher-income women." According to the report, unplanned pregnancy rates for poor women have risen 29% since 1994, while the rates for higher-income women dropped 20%-this, despite greater access to contraceptives and legal abortions over the past three decades. Income also seems to have an influence over the timing of abortions: Lower-income women take up to 3 weeks longer than higher-income women to obtain an abortion-a delay that could put poorer women at greater risk.

Based on the findings of the report, Abortion in Women's Lives, the institute, which serves to advance sexual and reproductive health worldwide, calls on state and federal lawmakers to: