Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Poverty, Rape, and Abortion

The US Third Wave Foundation (TWF), which among other activities helps fund abortions for women unable to afford them, has released a report on the circumstances of the 505 women they helped in 2010 (bold mine).
Key findings:
• 85 percent of pledges went to fund second-trimester abortions, 10 percent first-trimester, 5 percent third-trimester
• 83 percent of pledges were given to people of color, compared with 80 percent in 2009 and 68 percent in 2008 and 2007
• 16 percent of pledges funded abortions for women impregnated because of rape (10 percent of those pledge recipients were impregnated because of incest)
• 48 percent of pledge recipients under 14 said their pregnancies were a result of rape

• Of 148 pledges made to minors, 64 percent were required to obtain consent from their parents due to state laws, 47 percent of pledge recipients had their parents notified because of parental notification laws
• Of all the minors who received money for abortion, 13 appealed to a judge to override parental consent/notification laws, what’s known as judicial bypass
• 17 percent of pledge recipients were homeless, compared with 10 percent in 2009 and 6.5 percent in 2008. Of these pledge recipients who were homeless at the time of their procedure, 58 percent had children and 15 percent were homeless due to domestic violence
• 49 percent of women who received pledge money were already mothers, but the majority had no “involvement” of a partner
• 15 percent of pledge recipients said they had a partner involved; of those, 57 percent said they were experiencing physical violence from their partner
• Low or no-income pledge recipients lacked Medicaid mostly due to homelessness or illegal residency, long waiting periods, or because the state dropped coverage once the person turned 18
• Thus, in 2010, only 6 out of 505 pledges were made to people who were employed full-time, and 19 out of 505 were made to people who had part- time employment.

(Note that these dismal figures pre-date the orgy of new laws on mandatory wait times and other run-arounds, including defunding all reproductive health care for poor people.)

It is not at all surprising that 85% of procedures were carried out in the second trimester, as opposed to abortions in the general population, more than 90% of which are done in the first trimester.

D'uh. If you got the dough, you go get it done as quickly as you can. If you don't have the dough, you're scrambling, eventually, if you're lucky, winding up with emergency funding from one of the National Network of Abortion Funds. But there's going to be delay, often a significant delay.

The rape stats, though, are surprising.

So, what percentage of rapes result in pregnancy? It's devilishly difficult to find out.

Here's one range:
Some statistics report that conception as a result of rape occurs in less than one percent of cases, while other studies indicate higher figures such as 4.7%. Rape-related Pregnancy may be more widespread than we know - many women are understandably reluctant to talk about it. Common contexts for conception in rape are war and domestic violence settings.

Here's Wiki:
The rate varies between settings and depends particularly on the extent to which non-barrier contraceptives are being used. A study of adolescents in Ethiopia found that among those who reported being raped, 17% became pregnant after the rape, a figure which is similar to the 15–18% reported by rape crisis centres in Mexico.

A longitudinal study in the United States of over 4000 women followed for 3 years found that the national rape related pregnancy rate was 5.0% per rape among victims aged 12–45 years, producing over 32 000 pregnancies nationally among women from rape each year. [1996]

It's perhaps not that surprising then, that poor USian women have rape-related pregnancy rates comparable to developing world rates.

But if you listen to fetus fetishists, there's no need to make a rape exemption to an abortion ban, because pregnancy hardly EVEH results from it.

Using some very dubious methods and very old stats, this Xianist comes up with the figure of 0.1-0.2% of rape-related pregnancies.

So, hey, we don't need no steenkin' exemption for rape. What's a few forced pregnancies in Gord's greater scheme of things?

Then, there's the fetus fetishist fall-back argument, as argued by SUZIE ALLCAPS recently. To wit, some rape victims choose to carry the rapist's sperm to term. (I got involved in the comments there and the phrase 'sperm to term' earned me an outraged spanking from one of her minions. Expect to see it a lot here. *evulsmiley*)

Lady Janus and I commented: 'Cool. That's what feminists mean by choice. It was her choice to make.'

SUZIE ALLCAPS countered with: 'It PROVES that the claim that ALL rape-related pregnancy results in INEVITABLE trauma is false'.

LJ et moi: Um. No. One person's decision doesn't PROVE anything. And besides, who ever claimed that all rape-related pregnancy created inevitable trauma?

ALLCAPS: Pro-aborts claim it is automatically traumatic and therefore there must be a rape exemption.

LJ et moi: No. Pregnancy resulting from rape certainly causes trauma in some women and that's why abortion must be an option.

Well, as usual, the discussion got all stupid after that. OK, it was stupid to begin with. . .

Going back to TWF's findings -- the quick rise in the number of homeless women is depressing, isn't it?

In related news, a preliminary report out today shows that USian births are down for third year in a row. The article speculates that 'the economy may be a factor'.

D'uh. Ya think?

But now with all the new abortion run-arounds and funding barriers -- not to mention MASSIVE cuts to basic contraception services -- YIIPPEE! The US birth rate will no doubt be on the rise again.

Among poor, raped, abused, homeless, racialized women. Isn't that grand news?


Anonymous said...

Helluva way to to increase the ranks of the military. But when you have 5 wars going...

deBeauxOs said...

Yes, imagine that as a recruiting incentive, promising enlisted men access to *enemy* females + Viagra so they rape with impunity.

k'in said...

There's a war on women in the USA. The fetishists may worship the sacred fetuses, but, as soon as they pop out, the same fetishists are working hard to insure that the women just don't get to hang around as their male counterparts.

Fetus Fetishists may lie, but statistics don't.

"Overall, U.S. women's life expectancy at birth was 81.3 years in 2007, a slip of 15 places in the worldwide ranking since 1987, from 20th to 35th. Women in Holmes County, Miss., which has the lowest life expectancy in the country, can expect to live 73.5 years — which was the average life span of women in the 10 longest-lived nations in 1957.

For men, the news is a little better: American men's average life expectancy at birth in 2007 was 76.7 years, which brought them up from 32nd place a decade earlier to No. 24 worldwide."


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