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For a Pro-Woman Society, We Sure Aren’t Helping Ourselves

10/23/2013 Comments (42)

According to a recent piece in The Atlantic

In March, a study published by the University of Wisconsin researchers David Kindig and Erika Cheng found that in nearly half of U.S. counties, female mortality rates actually increased between 1992 and 2006, compared to just 3% of counties that saw male mortality increase over the same period.

 I can’t help but notice that, among the headlines that caught my eye the same day was one citing research into reasons women have abortions.

The findings are both illuminating and ambiguous. Women rarely gave a single reason and often gave additional, maybe even different reasons when pressed as to their main reason. Researchers attempted to gather these into basic themes or categories, but some of these were harder to categorize than others. […]

These cover the gamut–financial, relationship, school, and, in the way that some count it, even maternal health.

Essentially, the study authors decided just to identify certain general themes and then count every time a woman gave a response in this category. The authors seem to have abandoned the effort to identify a woman’s primary reason for abortion, as that data is not listed anywhere. Thus the best one can do with this data is to simply see how often women offered a particular rationale. Researchers found 40% of these women mentioning something financial, 36% in some way discussing the bad “timing” of the pregnancy, 31% raising a partner issue, 29% speaking of “other children,” 20% talking of the child somehow interfering with future opportunities.

Less than 20% mentioned something about not being emotionally or mentally prepared (19%), health related reasons (12%), wanting a better life than she could provide (12%), not being independent or mature enough (7%), influence of family or friends, and not wanting to have a baby or to place a baby up for adoption (4%).

These do not add to 100%, of course, because women tended to give more than one reason.

I do not mean to imply that there’s a connection. And yet...there is one, if only that they were in my news reader at the same time. I take this as a call to prayer. Maybe it’s nothing more. And maybe...it is.

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About Sarah Reinhard

Sarah Reinhard
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Sarah Reinhard is a Catholic wife, mom, writer, parish worker and catechist, and coffee drinker. You’re just as likely to find her hiding out back with a book as you are to discover her playing in the yard with a few farm animals (or wait — are those her kids?) She is the author of five books, the most recent of which is A Catholic Mother's Companion to Pregnancy: Walking with Mary from Conception to Baptism. She blogs at SnoringScholar.com and CatholicMom.com. Reinhard holds a master’s degree in marketing and communications and has worked for many years in corporate and nonprofit organizations. She lives in central Ohio with her husband and three children. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Goodreads.