For Survivors of Abuse, Access to Abortion Can Be a Lifesaver

October 8, 2014

With clinics closing left and right because of anti-abortion legislation, access to safe abortion care is dwindling in the United States. This is having significant ramifications across the country, particularly for women in abusive relationships, new research suggests.

The “Turnaway Study” is a five-year project through which researchers are observing the physical, mental, and socioeconomic impact on women of continuing an unintended pregnancy that they sought to terminate. The researchers are then comparing that data with data from women who were able to have an abortion. Released around the time of Domestic Violence Awareness Month by Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH), the results from the fourth year of the study assesses the importance of access to abortion clinics for women experiencing violence at the hands of an intimate partner. Interviewing women on either side of the line at which the clinics in the study would no longer perform abortions (often 20 weeks’ gestation), the researchers tracked women’s health and life outcomes, including mental health, economic status, and occurrences of intimate partner violence (IPV).


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