The Common Good
January 2009

Making Abortion Rare

by Rose Marie Berger, Amy Spaulding | January 2009

A 2008 study commissioned by Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good found that social policies that increase economic support to women in the U.S.

A 2008 study commissioned by Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good found that social policies that increase economic support to women in the U.S. directly correlate with a decrease in the number of abortions. The study, “Reducing Abortion in America,” analyzed the effects Medicaid, welfare policy, and other factors had on abortion rates over a 20-year period, focusing on the dramatic drop in abortions in the 1990s. “Political, social, and cultural responses are all necessary to reduce and prevent abortion,” Alexia Kelley, of Catholics in Alliance, told Sojourners. The study concluded:

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  • 150,000 fewer abortions would occur each year if the government removed the cap on the number of children in low-income families able to receive economic assistance.
  • 16 percent: The increase in abortion rates in states with a cap on the number of children in poor families able to receive government aid.
  • 31 percent: The decrease in abortion rates when a state combines an increase of $1,350 per low-income person through government assistance programs such as AFDC-TANF with removal of the family cap.
  • 29 percent: The decrease in abortion rates when male employment increased by 7.5 percent.

Source: “Reducing Abortion in America” (Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, 2008).

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