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“Trans people DO need access to women’s shelters, to domestic abuse and rape crisis lines, to gynecological exams and mammograms and pap smears and other aspects of “women’s health”, to testicular exams and prostate checks and other aspects of “men’s health”, to planned parenthood and reproductive options and contraception and safer sex kits and everything of that kind… to a whole lot of things that we’re consistently, and often quite deliberately, cut out of. This has intense and real consequences for us, often on the scale of life and death.”—Five Ways Cis Feminists Can Help Build Trans Inclusivity And Intersectionality | Sincerely, Natalie Reed
Statistics on Induced Abortion
Note: I’ll be replacing all instances of “woman/women” with “person/people who can get pregnant”. Where I say “individual(s)”, “person”, or “people”, I mean “person/people who can get pregnant”.
This is to avoid the ciscentrism, cissexism, gender essentialism, and biological determinism often seen in abortion debates. Not all women have uteruses, and not all people with uteruses are women. That is to say, trans* men and nonbinary folks can get pregnant, too.
These statistics are from my notes from my Biology of Human Sexuality course, but I’ll provide the source in cases where the prof mentioned where she got the info. I don’t have full citations, though, seeing as this was a Powerpoint presentation.
Fewer than half of all U.S. pregnancies lead to the birth of a wanted child
Total = 6.33 million
Numbers in pie chart below refer to millions — i.e. 2.73 means 2.73 million.
(Note: Spontaneous abortion refers to miscarriage.)
- Half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned
- Half of unplanned pregnancies are aborted
- U.S pregnancy rates in people less than 25 years old are double those in Canada and Europe
- This is despite no differences in sexual activity rates. Instead, this is often due to lack of access to, misuse of, or failure of birth control and contraceptive methods. (I’m going to add that this is why comprehensive sex ed is so important, IMHO.)
Going to add some brief notes about contraception and birth control here. 58% of people were using contraception when they became pregnant. Basically, there is significant variation of efficacy between the different methods of contraception.
Abortion in the United States
- In 2002, 1.29 million pregnancies were terminated by abortion in the U.S.
- About 2% of all people who can get pregnant aged 15–44 had an abortion in 2002
- 43% of all people who can get pregnant have had at least one abortion by age 45; young single people are major recipients
- 50% are younger than 25 years of age
- 20% are younger than 19 years of age
- Again, because I think it can’t be stressed enough: 58% were using contraception when they became pregnant
- Low-income and minority individuals have disproportionately more unintended pregnancies and more abortions
- American Catholic individuals are just as likely as non-Catholics to have abortions
Who has abortions?: By age
(Source given: Jones et al., 2002)
Rates of abortion: By income level
(Source given: Jones et al., 2002)
(y-axis: % of poverty level; x-axis: abortions per 1,000)
Abortions: By gestational age of fetus/embryo (i.e. LMP (last menstrual period) method)
(Source given: Henshaw adjustments to Strauss et al., 2004 (2001 data))
- 88% of abortions are performed in the first 12 weeks
- Only ~1% are performed after 20 wks (“late term abortion”)
(y-axis: % of abortions; x-axis: gestational age, in weeks)
Most important reasons given for having an abortion
(Source given: Finer et al., 2005. Data from 2004. Individuals could give more than one reason, obviously.)
Concern for/responsibility to other individuals: 74%
Cannot afford a baby now: 73%
A baby would interfere with school/ employment/ability to care for dependents: 69%
Would be a single parent/ having relationship problems: 48%
Has completed childbearing: 38%
Reasons given for having an abortion after 16 weeks
(Source given: Torres and Forrest, 1988 (1987 data). Again, individuals could give more than one reason.)
Individual did not realize they were pregnant: 71%
Difficulty making arrangements for/getting access to an abortion: 48%
Afraid to tell parent(s) or partner(s): 33%
Needed time to make decision: 24%
Hoped relationship situation would change: 8%
Pressure not to have abortion: 8%
Something changed during pregnancy: 6%
Didn’t know timing was considered important: 6%
Didn’t know they could get an abortion: 5%
Fetal abnormality diagnosed late: 2%
More sources (not from class, but from the internet):
Facts on Induced Abortion in the United States:
Abortion isn’t used as birth control, and many people who seek abortions were using at least one form of protection at the time they conceived:
Comprehensive rebuttals to common pro-life arguments:
The truth about the anti-abortion/pro-life shock images:
This is a PDF file. **TRIGGER WARNING** for graphic photos. Again, these are shock images often used by pro-life activists in order to evoke a visceral, emotional reaction from people. These images are often distributed with misinformation and/or a lack of context.
If anyone has more to add, feel free to reblog and do so.
I’ll probably make more posts after this one about abortion procedures and the safety of abortion.
“My mom was pro-choice, so it's cool to know that I exist because she wanted me.”—Erin Gloria Ryan, “Your Abortion Probably Killed the Next Justin Bieber”
“Reproductive control of women has taken many forms. On plantations, slave owners and overseers wielded tremendous power over female slaves and their families by raping women and deciding whether to sell off their children. In the nineteenth century, all states passed laws making abortion a crime. Around the time criminalization was consolidated, campaigns against "vice" successfully restricted women's access to birth control devices and information that might have reduced the need for abortion. The eugenics movement succeeded in institutionalizing and sterilizing masses of "unfit" persons, ranging from developmentally disabled individuals to sexually promiscuous women. The legacy of sterilization abuse continued throughout the twentieth century, shifting primarily to African American, Native American, and Puerto Rican women.”—Rachel Roth, “Backlash and Continuity”
Arizona Birth Control Bill Allows Employers To Fire Women On The Pill Based On Religious Beliefs
The current law states that birth control is covered under health insurance plans for women in Arizona for contraceptive purposes as well as health concerns. However, the new birth control bill, House Bill 2625, states that women who want their birth control pill to be covered by their insurance plans must verify its purpose to be solely for medical reasons and not to prevent pregnancy. The bill would grant employers to deny female employees the right to be covered based on religious beliefs.
The new bill was passed by Arizona’s House of Representatives in early March and was endorsed by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday with a 6-2 vote. According to Arizona House Bill 2625, employers can refuse coverage for birth control for contraceptive, abortifacient, abortion or sterilization purposes, forcing women to submit a claim to prove medical conditions which require treatment for birth control.
Funny that the bill doesn’t require men on Viagra to prove that they have a wife of childbearing age, or to prove they they are only using it for procreation.
This tells me that the bill isn’t about religion at all and is about controlling women’s sex lives and personal decisions.
A brief comment regarding the Plan B news today...
While all medications carry risk and shouldn’t be taken lightly, the risks to mother and child during unwanted teen pregnancy are high. Certainly higher than the potential risks associated with taking Plan B. As this ‘05 WaPo piece notes, the arguments that the drug carries particular risk to adolescents is unsubstantiated (nor does it actually up the risk for STIs). But note the possible effects of teen pregnancy: from increased likelihood of dropping out of high school, living in poverty and quickly having more children, to higher rates of suicide, death by violence, premature birth and maternal mortality. Important information to remember in parsing the arguments being made about teen health and the “morning after” pill.