By Gudrun Schultz 

Almost all abortions take place because a child would be inconvenient, too expensive, or too difficult to cope with, according to a study by the Alan Guttmacher Institute, abortion provider Planned Parenthood’s research affiliate. In a 2004 survey of 1,209 American women at 11 major abortion clinics, women revealed that neither health problems, rape, incest, nor coercion by family members or partners were the primary or even secondary reasons for seeking an abortion.

 young woman with pregnancy test

Ninety-two {a886d2509afb02fdbd678c9c9cbef29e9b4ac8f1454580a0bf53ee67e764b753} of women said social or “other” factors were the reason behind their abortion. Only seven percent said physical problems or possible health problems with the baby were the reason, and only 0.5{a886d2509afb02fdbd678c9c9cbef29e9b4ac8f1454580a0bf53ee67e764b753} said they were seeking an abortion because they had been raped.

Bad timing was the most common reason women gave for having an abortion-they weren’t ready to have another child. Not being able to afford a child, (or another child) was the second most important reason given.

Despite the argument by abortion advocates that health risks are one of the central reasons for seeking an abortion, the study revealed something strikingly different-that women most often choose abortion because they perceive it to be the easier choice. 

Women do not make the decision lightly, the authors of the study pointed out, nor are they happy with the decision to abort their child. “[T]he language women used suggests that abortion was not something they desired,” stated Lawrence B. Finer and coauthors. “They saw not having a child as their best (and sometimes only) option.”

It is tragic that women facing a difficult or unwanted pregnancy see abortion as their only option. Adoption was rejected by more than one third of 38 women given in-depth interviews in the study, who said they had rejected adoption as “morally unconscionable” because “giving one’s child away is wrong.” How has it become unacceptable to place a child for adoption, but justified to kill that same child? The profound moral confusion caused by legalized abortion is painfully evident in the accounts given by women in this study.

Why Women Have Abortions:

The reasons they gave in 2004

25{a886d2509afb02fdbd678c9c9cbef29e9b4ac8f1454580a0bf53ee67e764b753} Not ready for a(nother) child/timing is wrong

23{a886d2509afb02fdbd678c9c9cbef29e9b4ac8f1454580a0bf53ee67e764b753} Can’t afford a baby now

19{a886d2509afb02fdbd678c9c9cbef29e9b4ac8f1454580a0bf53ee67e764b753} Have completed my childbearing/have other people depending on me/children are grown

8{a886d2509afb02fdbd678c9c9cbef29e9b4ac8f1454580a0bf53ee67e764b753} Don’t want to be a single mother/am having relationship problems

7{a886d2509afb02fdbd678c9c9cbef29e9b4ac8f1454580a0bf53ee67e764b753} Don’t feel mature enough to raise a(nother) child/feel too young

4{a886d2509afb02fdbd678c9c9cbef29e9b4ac8f1454580a0bf53ee67e764b753} Would interfere with education or career plans

4{a886d2509afb02fdbd678c9c9cbef29e9b4ac8f1454580a0bf53ee67e764b753} Physical problem with my health

3{a886d2509afb02fdbd678c9c9cbef29e9b4ac8f1454580a0bf53ee67e764b753} Possible problems affecting the health of the fetus

<0.5{a886d2509afb02fdbd678c9c9cbef29e9b4ac8f1454580a0bf53ee67e764b753} Was a victim of rape

<0.5{a886d2509afb02fdbd678c9c9cbef29e9b4ac8f1454580a0bf53ee67e764b753} Husband or partner wants me to have an abortion

<0.5{a886d2509afb02fdbd678c9c9cbef29e9b4ac8f1454580a0bf53ee67e764b753} Parents want me to have an abortion

<0.5{a886d2509afb02fdbd678c9c9cbef29e9b4ac8f1454580a0bf53ee67e764b753} Don’t want people to know I had sex or got pregnant

6{a886d2509afb02fdbd678c9c9cbef29e9b4ac8f1454580a0bf53ee67e764b753} Other

(Statistics taken from: Reasons U.S. Women Have Abortions: Quantitative and Qualitative Perspectives, by Lawrence B. Finer et al. published by the Guttmacher Institute, 2004 )