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Losing Access To Abortion Care Puts Women At Greater Risk Of Living In Poverty

 An exam room used in women's reproductive health practice is pictured at Whole Woman's Health of Austin
An exam room used in women's reproductive health practice is pictured at Whole Woman's Health of Austin

A new study finds women who sought but were denied access to abortion experienced higher rates of poverty than women who were able to obtain care.

From Texas Standard:

Could Texas' new restrictive abortion law increase a woman's risk of experiencing poverty? The nonprofit news organization, The 19th reports a new study says yes.

Chabeli Carrazana is an economy reporter for The 19th. She told Texas Standard that the University of California-San Francisco studied women seeking abortions during a ten-year period. Members of one group of women were able to obtain the abortions they sought, while other study participants were not able to do so. Carrazana says lack of access to abortion had economic impacts on the women studied.

"72% of the women who did not receive an abortion ended up living in poverty, as opposed to 55% of those who did received the abortion," Carrazana said.

Women who were unable to access abortion services they wanted were also far more likely to have poor credit ratings and experience bankruptcy or eviction, Carrazana says.

"These women struggled financially, oftentimes before they were seeking abortion care," she said. "That was one of the reasons they did not want to have a child. And then, when they had to still carry that pregnancy to term, they really struggled financially afterward."

More than half of the women who seek abortion in the U.S. live below the poverty line, according to the study. Many women reported not feeling financially ready to support a child, or said they already had children to care for.

Lack of access to abortion also affects families who do not have access to safety net programs like child care or paid family leave, Carrazana says.

Copyright 2021 KUT 90.5. To see more, visit KUT 90.5.