Only a Minority of Abortions Are for Unwanted Pregnancies, New Study

David C. Reardon
April 15, 2021
Reproduced with Permission

A major abortion advocacy group has recently found that only 42% of aborting women described their pregnancies as unwanted.1 Unexpectedly, 38% described their pregnancies as wanted or wanted but mistimed. The remaining 19% were unsure how to describe the wantedness of their pregnancies, indicating ambivalence or at least some attachment to their pregnancies. Previous research has indicated that about 20% of abortions are of wanted pregnancies.2

This new study should have naturally drawn national attention to the problem of unwanted abortions . But it hasn't. Instead, these findings are buried in the details of a study alleging that state abortion laws create a "psychosocial burden" on women seeking abortions.

Selective Vision Mars Abortion Advocacy Study

The study in question was conducted by Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH), a division of the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health in San Francisco. ANSIRH is funded by numerous population control groups. It exists precisely for the purpose of developing research that can be used to entice or bully governments around the world into expanding abortion services and decreasing population growth, especially among the poor.

The political goals of ANSIRH are not even disguised. The study's conclusion argues that the evidence presented proves that:

Any legal restrictions that increase travel burden, unwanted abortion disclosure, and force people to wait are likely affecting people's psychological well-being. In fact, the same restrictions that claim to protect people from mental health harm, may increase people's psychosocial burden and contribute to adverse psychological outcomes at the time of seeking abortion. But in their stretch to reach this conclusion, ANSIRH researchers are actually ignoring most of the data they gathered. As described above, the majority of interviewed women (58%) were feeling psychological stress from some level of emotional attachment to their pregnancies. This finding is especially important in light of research showing that up to 64% of aborting women feel pressured by others to abort.3,4

In addition, ANSIRH's pre-abortion survey of 784 women seeking abortions found that 64% reported at least some worry about "ending a potential life," 70% reported some difficulty deciding whether or not to have an abortion, and 68% reported some "difficulty thinking I have to end this pregnancy."

According to a list of risk factors identified by the American Psychological Association, all of the above factors indicate that the majority of aborting women are at elevated risk of negative emotional reactions after their abortions.4

The true rate of women at higher risk was likely even higher, since 29% of those invited to participate declined or dropped out of the ANSIRH interview. Such self-censorship is more common among women feeling the most stress, embarrassment, grief, or guilt about having an abortion.