Most Abortion Choices Violate Women's Own Preferences, New Study Examines Harms When Abortion is Not Freely Chosen

David C. Reardon
May 11, 2023
Reproduced with Permission

The assumption that abortions only occur when women freely want them has been overturned by a new study interviewing a national sample of 1000 women 41 to 45 years of age. Of women with a history of abortion, only 33% described their abortions as a "wanted and consistent with my values and preferences." All others, described it as contrary to their values and preferences, with 24% also describing their abortions as "unwanted" or "coerced."

The peer reviewed study was the second of the Charlotte Lozier Institute's Unwanted Abortion Studies. In a previous study, researchers found that over 60% of women report high to moderate levels of pressure to agree to an abortion, with only 5% of women reporting they felt little or no pressure to choose their abortions.

"This study confirms earlier findings regarding the epidemic of unwanted abortions in America," said the lead author, David Reardon, director of the Elliot Institute.

The new study also found that only the one-third of women whose abortions were consistent with their own values and preferences reported more benefits than harm from their abortions. The other two-thirds reported more negative effects and were more likely to report that their abortions contributed to a decline in their mental health.

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