In he debae over nding “common ground” on aborion, muchhas been made o he ac ha, when asked why hey chose ohave an aborion, many women say, “I can’ aord anoher childrigh now.” Given his response, some have suggesed ha provid-ing addiional suppors o pregnan women migh help reduce heaborion rae. Te hinking goes ha i women eel he economicobsacles are oo grea o carry a pregnancy o erm—especiallyan uninended pregnancy—hen policies ha ease hose burdensmay help a woman ulimaely have a child ha she wans ohave. An alernaive line o hinking suggess ha i a womanis rying o decide beween aborion and carrying o erm,addiional suppors may ip he balance and lead her o choosehaving he child.Te Cener or American Progress coninues o believe ha, per he public healh daa, widespread access o conracepionis he mos eecive mehod available or reducing uninended pregnancy, especially when coupled wih medically accurae sexeducaion. Uninended pregnancy is, aer all, he proximaecause o he vas majoriy o aborions. We also believe ha he governmen should no be in he business o promoing one moralviewpoin over anoher, nor should i ry o persuade individualso make paricular healh care decisions ha have no bearing on public healh oucomes. Neverheless, we do believe in aking a comprehensive approacho addressing reproducive healh needs and we eel ha i isan imporan policy objecive in is own righ o provide beter suppors o pregnan women, regardless o any poenial subse-quen eec on he aborion rae. We will hereore be examining,hrough a series o issue bries, a variey o meaningul ways inwhich we can beter address he needs o pregnan women.When a woman says she can’ aord a child, she is no jus hink-ing o he nine monhs o pregnancy, he rs ew monhs aer hechild is born, or even he rs ew years o lie. She is mos likelyhinking abou he nex 18 years—or beyond—and how she willclohe, bahe, eed, house, nurure, and educae anoher humanbeing or ha enire period o ime.She may already have one or more children o care or—indeed6 ou o every 10 women who have aborions are already moh-ers. She may be he primary careaker or a disabled or elderlymember o her amily. She may wan a amily one day bu eel eco-nomically or emoionally unprepared o sar one now. She mayhave a parner who is willing o help raise a child or no. She maybe working, unemployed, or rying o nish her educaion so shecan beter suppor hersel and her loved ones. I working, she mayhave secure employmen or she may be one sick day away oma pink slip. She may be in perec healh, have a chronic illness,sruggle wih addicion, or suer inimae parner violence. Shemay have healh insurance or she may be uninsured. She migh consider adopion or hink i is ou o he quesion. In shor, a muliude o acors may aec her decision o con-inue or erminae a pregnancy. And “I can’ aord a child righ now” can encompass a number o hese acors. Diapers and or-mula are clearly no sufcien. Sysemaic changes o healh care,he workplace, he adopion sysem, and ohers are necessary ohave a real eec on he lives o pregnan women.
Parenting with Dignity: A Series Exploring Real Supports for Pregnant Women