Research illustrates the detrimental effects of a 20-week abortion ban
The Senate Judiciary Committee recently held a hearing on later abortion, related to proposed federal legislation that would ban the procedure after 20 weeks’ gestation nationwide. During the hearing, UCSF Bixby Center researcher Dr. Diana Greene Foster testified that a 20-week abortion ban would be detrimental to women’s health, safety and well-being. She presented key findings from the Turnaway Study, including that:
- Over 95% of women report that abortion was the right decision for them.
- Women who must carry unwanted pregnancies to term are more likely to live in poverty than women who received an abortion.
- Women denied wanted abortions are less likely to have or achieve aspirational life plans, like getting a better job or finishing school.
- There are negative consequences for women’s existing children when their mothers are denied abortion care. For these children, there are measurable reductions in achievement of child developmental milestones and an increasing chance of living in poverty.
"As a researcher, I believe that any law restricting the provision of medical care should take into account its effect on women’s health and wellbeing as determined by sound empirical research, especially laws restricting a medical procedure that nearly one in three American women experience,” Dr. Foster testified. "In this case, the evidence indicates that a nationwide 20-week ban on abortion will adversely affect the lives of women and their children across the country."