Even as Republican-led initiatives aimed at reducing abortions are sweeping statehouses across the country, fewer women are seeking to have the procedure done. Still, while the abortion rate dropped 8 percent between 2000 and 2008, it spiked among poor women, ABC News reported Tuesday.
The increase in abortions among the poor may reflect the tough economic times, researchers said. Women whose family income fell below the national poverty level accounted for 42 percent of the 1.2 million or so abortions in 2008.
"In the middle of a recession, it's possible women have reduced access to contraception and have more unintended pregnancies," said Rachel Jones
, senior research associate at New York City's Guttmacher Institute and lead author of the report published Monday in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.
"It's also possible that women confronted with unplanned pregnancies when they are out of work decide to have abortions, even though they might have carried it to term in more stable times."
Using information collected through patient surveys, Jones and colleagues estimated the rate of abortion among women of various ages, races, religions, income and education levels, calculating changes in the rate since 2000.
Many conservative state lawmakers swept into office in the 2010 mid-term elections have been successfully pushing for tighter restrictions on abortion in dozens of states. They aim to further reduce the abortion rate.
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