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The Guttmacher Institute released the findings of its abortion patient survey, “Characteristics of U.S. Abortion Patients, 2008.” The survey showed that the proportion of abortion patients whose incomes were below the federal poverty line increased by nearly 60 percent from 2000 to 2008. In 2008, 42 percent of abortion patients were classified as poor, compared to 27 percent in 2000.
The Guttmacher Institute attributes the increase in poor women obtaining abortions to several factors:
- Between 2000 and 2008, the proportion of women in the overall population who were poor increased by 25 percent.
- Nearly half of the women surveyed in a summer 2009 report said they wanted to delay pregnancy or limit the number of children they have because of the economy.
- Low-income women may have had increased access to abortion due to subsidized care and charitable donations by abortion providers and nonprofit organizations.
There were few other changes in the profile of women obtaining abortions between 2000 and 2008. Some key facts from the survey:
- The majority of women obtaining abortions are in their 20s (58 percent).
- Sixty-one percent of women obtaining abortions have at least one child.
- Thirty-three percent of women obtaining abortions in 2008 lacked health insurance, including Medicaid.