Study Finds That Poor Women Are Getting Totally Screwed With Access To Affordable Contraception

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In news that will probably surprise exactly zero reasonably intelligent people, there is an economic gap when it comes to family planning and access to affordable contraception. Turns out income plays a huge part in family planning! Wow. Crazy, I know. A new study from the Brookings Institute shows that women living in poverty are more likely to experience an unintentional pregnancy, but that “equalizing contraceptive use reduces the ratio of unintended births between affluent and poor women by half, and that equalizing abortion rates reduces the ratio by one-third.”  The study also determined that there is no ‘sex gap’ by income, because both rich and poor women have sex (including premarital sex) at equal rates. So sex itself is not the issue. Access to affordable contraception is the issue.

ThinkProgress points out that poor women are usually the target in many states when it comes to abortion laws. Did you know that 11 states have mandatory waiting period laws that require women to make two separate trips to an abortion clinic? Abortion is also usually excluded from low-income women’s insurance plans, leaving the burden of the full cost to fall on the shoulders of women who cannot afford it.

So how do we fix it? BECAUSE WE NEED TO FIX IT. According to Brookings:

“Access to affordable abortion also matters, and this is currently limited for many low-income women. There are of course strongly-held views on abortion, but it should be hard for anyone to accept such inequalities by income, especially when they are likely to reverberate across two or more generations. Abortion is a difficult choice, but it is not one that should influenced by financial status.”

Anyone else having a bit of a “DUH!” moment here? At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if government-sanctioned sterilizations were brought up as a possible solution.

(Photo: Shutterstock)