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Heidi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 09:41 AM
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Tulsa World editorial: Another round in the abortion battle
Last Modified: 8/23/2009 4:17 AM

Abortion foes lost a battle last week in Oklahoma when a judge tossed out a controversial ultrasound requirement. But that's a minor setback when compared to the many access-curtailing victories they've scored in recent years.

But have these myriad new measures had the hoped-for effect of reducing the number of abortions performed in the U.S.?

Some new research is, to say the least, unsettling. Abortion restrictions may be fueling huge increases in drug-induced abortions, and causing women to delay abortions to a riskier point in the pregnancy. Restrictions also may be increasing the teen birth rate in a few spots. Most disturbing of all, the new restrictions are disproportionately impacting low-income and minority women, while higher-income white women still have little difficulty obtaining abortions.

Surely these are not the sorts of results abortion foes were seeking.


An analysis by Rachel Benston Gold for the Guttmacher Institute, published earlier this year, concluded that measures aimed at dissuading women from having abortions "do not appear to be effective in ... materially reducing the number of procedures performed."

She cited a review of studies by Guttmacher, Ibis Reproductive Health and Baruch College which found that such measures "by and large ... do not prevent abortions." This review called the strategy "largely unsuccessful."

One "clear exception," they concluded, was disadvantaged women, who "often don't have the resources to navigate the hurdles" imposed by such restrictions.

Parental involvement laws "do little to affect the abortion rate," this trio concluded, with one possible exception: Such laws may have contributed to an increase in the teen birth rate in Texas where teens were not able to travel the distances required to access out-of-state services.

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