A new study finds women who were denied a wanted abortion experienced persistent financial implications.
Little is known about the economic picture of mothers who are denied the choice to end their pregnancies.
In a study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, Sarah Miller, Ph.D., assistant professor of business at the U-M Ross School of Business, and a team of researchers used Turnaway study data to examine the credit history of women three years before they became pregnant and five years after to determine the financial outcomes associated with being denied a wanted abortion.
The researchers compared the credit histories of two groups: women who were near the gestational limit but received an abortion, and women who were past the gestational limit and were denied an abortion. The data included women who were denied an abortion regardless of whether they carried the pregnancy to term or received an abortion elsewhere. Most participants carried the pregnancy to term.
The study findings showed that in the three years before seeking an abortion, credit ratings for both groups were similar. In the five years after, the group that was denied abortions had a 78% increase in debt that was 30 days or more past due. Their chances of experiencing negative financial events, such as bankruptcies and evictions, increased by 81%. They were also less likely to have a credit score in the prime range (680 – 739) and adverse financial effects persisted for up to five years after the birth year.
These results, coupled with previous Turnaway Study findings, led Miller and team to conclude that women who were denied a wanted abortion experienced significant and persistent financial implications.