Abortion can be a complicated issue. It comes with strong emotions, complex and confusing bills – and most of all political agendas that put personal beliefs ahead of the health and needs of individuals and families.
Too often because people who do not support abortion are LOUD, there are questions around support for abortion. Let’s be clear — the majority of voters have for decades and still do support upholding Roe and the right to abortion across the political spectrum. Here in our state and across the country.
Abortion really is not the divisive issue that it is often described as – and this idea can contribute to stigma and make it seem support has decreased, which just is not accurate as demonstrated in:
- January 2022 CNN poll (70% do not want Supreme Court to overturn Roe, including 85% of Democrats, 72% of Independents and 44% of Republicans).
- December 2021 Fox News poll (2/3 or 65% want Roe to remain the law of the land, including 53% of Republicans).
- November 2021 Washington Post-ABC poll (2 to 1 margin believe Supreme Court should uphold Roe and 75% said decision on abortion should be left to the person and their doctor).
- September 2021 Marquette poll (Voters oppose overturning Roe by a 30 point margin)
- May 2021 Gallup poll (80% of Americans think abortion should be legal)
These are just a snapshot. Research for YEARS has affirmed that while voters may be conflicted – and often confused – about insidious bills that put up limits on the access to abortion, the fact remains that a majority of voters agree Roe should be uphold and abortion should remain legal.
The impact of the bills that make it harder to provide or harder to get care are also difficult for folks to understand. What does it really mean when people can’t get the care they need?
ANSIRH produced a longitudinal study examining the mental health, physical health, and socioeconomic consequences of being forced to carry a pregnancy to term. Data from their Turnaway Study has been published in more than fifty scientific, peer-reviewed journals.
- The study found that many of the common claims about abortion having negative impact are not supported by evidence.
- Additionally, the research found serious consequences of being denied an abortion.
It is important to have conversations about the current policies limiting access to abortion like the Rhode Island laws that deny health coverage for abortion for state employees and people who use Medicaid and how they impact people. Low-income people who are denied abortion coverage may have to postpone paying for other basic needs like food, rent, heating, and utilities in order to save the money needed for an abortion. Moreover, because of the high cost of the procedure, low-income women are often forced to delay obtaining an abortion because they need time to raise the money.
- In one study, more than one-third of women that had an abortion in the second trimester stated that they would have preferred to have the procedure earlier but could not because they needed to raise money.
- The greater the delay in obtaining an abortion, the more expensive and less safe the procedure becomes, catching poor women in a vicious cycle. In a 2011 study, women paid an average of $397 for a first trimester abortion but $854 for a second trimester abortion.
- Another study showed that one year after attempting to obtain an abortion, people who were denied an abortion were more likely to live below the federal poverty level and receive public assistance than those who received an abortion. Being forced to forego an abortion pushes people closer to poverty and others deeper into the poverty they are already enduring.
The studies and stats have a story to tell – and so do the real people in our state struggling to access the right to abortion that voters worked so hard to pass. We are in the majority. We must keep fighting to make sure we all make our own decisions about the care we need and how to plan our families and our futures!