Policy Brief Literature Review and Annotated Bibliography
Although abortion remains one of the most controversial issues in American society, statistics proves that it is widespread. In the United States, abortion statistics comes from two major sources: the Guttmacher Institute and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to Guttmacher Institute’s (2017) factsheet, around 45 percent of pregnancies among U.S. women are unintended. Experts at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2017) confirm the data, and admit that the majority of unintended pregnancies and abortions occur in women in their twenties. Since about 4 in 10 unintended pregnancies are terminated by abortion, it is necessary to ensure that the procedure takes place in early gestation, and is safe for a woman. However, achievement of this goal is hindered by low abortion service availability in the country. The study conducted by Jones and Jerman (2014) suggests that in 2011, 89% of counties had no clinics, and 38% of women of reproductive age lived in those counties. There also was a 4% decline in abortion providers in the country (Jones & Jerman, 2014). The objective of this policy brief is to analyze why there is a discrepancy between a number of women of reproductive age who want to have an abortion and the number of abortion providers. It also presents some considerations to respond to the discrepancy.
Statistics suggests that around half of all pregnancies among U.S. women are unintended (Guttmacher Institute, 2017). Half of these unintended pregnancies end in abortion (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017; Guttmacher Institute, 2017). Although in the United States abortion is legalized nationwide, many women encounter difficulties with assessing abortion services. The objective of this literature review is to identify these difficulties, explain why they have emerged, and analyze strategies to respond to them.
Experts at Guttmacher Institute (2017) suggest that availability of abortion services reduces abortion rates across the country. In order to prove the validity of this assertion, Guttmacher Institute (2017) compares between the abortion rates for different years. In 2014, the abortion rate was 14.6 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44 (Guttmacher Institute, 2017). According to the data collected by the Guttmacher Institute (2017), the rate was 14% lower when compared to 2011. Moreover, it was the lowest since 1973, the year when abortion became legal nationwide.
At the moment, the country is faced with a threat of increased abortion rate, which is preconditioned by decreased availability of abortion services in a number of counties and states. According to Jones and Jerman (2014), in 2011, the number of abortion providers declined 1%, while the number of clinics decreased 14%. Moreover, around 89% of counties had no clinics (Jones & Jerman, 2014). Noteworthy, these counties account for 38% of all women of reproductive age in the country (Jones & Jerman, 2014). The presented statistics clearly demonstrates that despite nationwide legalization, availability of abortion services varies significantly from state to state.
Researchers have sought to understand factors shaping the …