Tuesday, 27 March 2007

The Advantages of Abortion

There are many benefits to remaining unpregnant. Now there is solid research proving that having an abortion improves a young woman's educational outcome.

As reported by the Battle Creek Inquirer:

Young women frequently cite concerns about the impact of unplanned pregnancy on their educational and financial future as reasons for seeking abortion. New research legitimizes that concern, finding that young women who become pregnant before age 21 and seek abortion have significantly better educational outcomes than those who become pregnant before age 21 but do not seek an abortion. "Abortion Among Young Women and Subsequent Life Outcomes," by David M. Fergusson et al., published in the March 2007 issue of Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, uses longitudinal data from the Christchurch Health and Development Study in New Zealand to examine the extent to which the decision to have an abortion has advantages for a woman.

Fergusson and his colleagues looked at three mutually exclusive groups-women who had an abortion before age 21, those who had a pregnancy but not an abortion and those who had never become pregnant-and a number of outcomes at ages 21-25, including education, income, welfare dependence and domestic violence. After adjusting for family, social and educational characteristics that were present before the pregnancy, the study finds that abortion allowed women to pursue their educational goals. However, similar advantages did not extend to income, welfare dependence or partnership outcomes. The authors suggest that further research is needed to determine more clearly the risks and benefits associated with abortion so that women can make fully informed decisions about whether to terminate early pregnancies.

(You can read the abstract and download a PDF of the study here at the Guttmacher Institute.)

What good news! And what good timing. As reported last week in a show business story:

CULVER CITY, CA—Writers of a popular prime-time CBS sitcom spent the last three weeks making late-stage script adjustments to work its female lead's recent abortion into its storyline, sources close to the show revealed Monday.

One writer of the show explains:

"When you're writing a successful sitcom, sometimes the actors' personal lives find a way to creep on set and you just have to adapt," Karsch said. "Kirsten's around that age when a lot of actresses start thinking about having abortions, so I guess it's not that surprising."

Actresses and students both are around that age. Now there is evidence that 'adapting' an abortion will improve a woman's educational attainment and not harm her career either.

(First published at Birth Pangs.)

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