By Kathleen Gilbert

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 16, 2009 ( – Researchers at the Guttmacher Institute earlier this month issued a report that found that about 1/4 of the women who would have aborted their child if the government had provided the funds decided to keep their children.

The Guttmacher Institute, Planned Parenthood's research arm, concluded from a survey of 38 studies that women unable to pay for abortions on their own were frequently “forced to carry their pregnancy to term.”  

Stanley Hershaw, a Guttmacher Institute senior fellow and the study's lead author, commented that “Antiabortion advocates are using these restrictions in a misguided attempt to reduce the nation's abortion rate,” and that they should instead address the “underlying cause” by promoting the use of contraceptives.

Obama pledged to Pope Benedict XVI earlier this month his “commitment to reducing the numbers of abortion” in the words of one Vatican spokesman.  However, the healthcare package President Obama is aggressively pushing through both chambers of Congress is being widely decried by a growing group of conservatives and pro-lifers as bound to force virtually all Americans to pay for abortion as “essential healthcare.” Should the health bill include coverage for abortion, it is highly likely that the abortion rate will spike dramatically, according to the Guttmacher study. 

In his budget recommendations to Congress, Obama also urged lawmakers to remove the ban on taxpayer-funded abortion in Washington, D.C. – thereby causing taxpayer dollars from across America to foot the bill for abortions in the capital.

According to Concerned Women for America president Wendy Wright, one Obama official presiding over an abortion task force meeting corrected Wright when she stated that Obama's goal was to reduce abortions.  Melody Barnes, the Director of Domestic Policy Council, insisted that the President only wished to reduce the “need” for abortions, and not the number of abortions themselves.

See related coverage:

Did President Obama Mislead Pope Benedict?

Commentary: Obama Aide – Not Our Goal to Reduce Abortions

Obama White House Urges Tax-Funded Abortion-on-Demand in D.C.

Cardinal Rigali: You Can't Claim to be “Reducing Abortions” but Publicly Funding them in D.C.