New Report Explains Why Black Women Are Having More Abortions Than White Women

by Gee NY

A report released by the Ohio Department of Health on Oct. 2, 2023, shows last year, Black women had more abortions despite being six times less than White women in the state.

The wild disparity and other data in the most recent state abortion report suggest that economics plays a huge role in women’s decisions about whether to abort a pregnancy. The economic impacts of pregnancy and abortion might be considerations for Ohioans as they go to the polls on Nov. 7 to vote on Issue 1, an amendment that would enshrine reproductive rights in the state Constitution, reports Ohio Capital Journal.

The Ohio Department of Health last week released its Induced Abortion Report for 2022. Among its other revelations, it showed that racial disparities when it comes to deciding to end pregnancy are growing.

Despite being so greatly outnumbered by white women in the Buckeye State, Black women have gotten more than 40% of abortions each year since 2013. Then, starting in 2020, in terms of raw numbers they got most of any ethnic group in Ohio.

Because their overall numbers are so much smaller, the rate at which Black Ohio women have been getting abortions is much higher than their white neighbors. In each year between 2020 and 2022, between 1.7 and 1.9 per 1,000 white women received abortions, while for Black women, those figures ranged from 10.3 to 12.2 per 1,000.

That women have to juggle considerations of pregnancy, poverty and survival is hardly new. Those are major themes of Daniel Defoe’s 1722 novel “Moll Flanders.”

And it’s not hard to see how economics might play a role in the vast disparity between abortions among Black Ohio women and their white counterparts.

An analysis of 2018 Census data showed that women accounted for 56% of Americans living in poverty. That’s also not surprising, given that women are more likely to care for kids and kids are expensive.

Other research has shown that not having access to abortion increases economic insecurity and that in many countries — including the United States — economic worries are the leading reason women cite for deciding to end a pregnancy.

Social scientists have tried to examine whether children resulting from unplanned, unwanted pregnancies suffer worse outcomes in later life than their wanted peers, but much of the work has produced mixed results.

Last year in Ohio, the number of women who were already mothers who got abortions nearly doubled the number who had no children, 11,613 versus 6,345.

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