Rebecca Millette


NRTL on Guttmacher Report: ‘When tax dollars pay for abortion, you get more abortion’

Rebecca Millette

WASHINGTON, May 27, 2011 ( - The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of 50 state right-to-life affiliates, disputed claims earlier this week that restrictions on abortion “disproportionately affect” poor women.

The assertion was made in, “Changes in Abortion Rates Between 2000 and 2008 and Lifetime Incidence of Abortion”, published online on Monday in the June 2011 issue of “Obstetrics and Gynecology” by researchers from the Guttmacher Institute, research arm of Planned Parenthood.

“Data showing an eight percent drop in abortion rates across the board from 2000 to 2008 are encouraging,” said Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D., NRL director of education and research.

“Guttmacher suggests that higher abortion rates among poorer woman and abortion restrictions are somehow connected, yet it’s a thesis that goes undefended,” O’Bannon further noted. 

“How common sense regulations like right-to-know laws, which tell women about abortion’s risks and alternatives which are better for both them and their unborn children, and similar protective measures, are supposed to hurt poor women is hard to fathom.”

Data from the study indicated that while most groups saw a decrease in abortions, poor women accounted for over 42 percent of abortions in 2008 and their abortion rate increased by over 17 percent between 2000 and 2008.

In addition to poor women, abortion rates were highest for women who were cohabiting, aged 20-24, or non-Hispanic African American. If the 2008 abortion rate prevails, the study noted, 30 percent of women will have an abortion by age 45.

The overall downward trend seems to indicate that abortion restriction laws increasingly found in many states, along with the assistance provided by pregnancy care centers, which provide lifesaving alternatives to abortion, are enabling more women to choose life for their unborn child. However, several states - California, New York and at least a dozen others - publicly fund abortion for poor women. 

“While the abortion industry saw declines among most demographic groups, it just happened to see growth among women for whom states were covering abortion costs,” observed O’Bannon.  “The fact is, when tax dollars pay for abortion, you get more abortion.”

The Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), according to their own 2008-2009 annual report, showed over $1 billion in revenues, including $363.3 million in “Government Grants & Contracts” - an increase from $165 million in 1998. 

At a time when the overall number of abortions has decreased, PPFA reports performing 332,278 abortions for the period covered in the 2009 report - accounting for more than 27% of all abortions performed annually in the United States.

O’Bannon noted: “The abortion industry likes to argue that high abortion rates are due to insufficient government funding for ‘family planning,’ but the record seems at odds with that assertion.  As abortion industry giant Planned Parenthood has received hundreds of millions of tax dollars each year, abortions at their facilities have steadily increased at rates that very nearly match their increases in government funding.”

“Ultimately, the report says less about pro-life laws and more about the aggressiveness of the abortion industry that, funded by tax dollars in many states, exploited poorer women during the recession and profited from their misery. If more women choose life for their unborn children as a result of pro-life legislative initiatives, the abortion industry knows that it will adversely impact their financial bottom line,” O’Bannon concluded.

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