Recession May Be The Reason For Increased Abortions

Families in the U.S. are suffering financially because of the economic crisis. Raising children in a recession can be a hard task for any parent but especially those who are young and not financially stable.

Jobs are limited and for a young teen that has yet to receive a high school diploma, obtaining a decent paying job is almost out of the question.

“I got pregnant at 15, and it was very hard to take care of my baby because I didn’t have a job,” said Melanie Richards, 17, of Southeast. “After I had my baby I struggled to get a decent paying job but it was difficult because I hadn’t graduated yet.”

Newborns and young children are expensive and without the proper funds, they can not be cared for appropriately. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it costs over $200,000 to raise a child from birth to age 18.

“I think one of the main reasons, young women get abortions is because they do not have the money to take care of the child after it is born and a lot of them do not come from supportive families,” said Jennifer Graves, director of the Northwest Center located on 2702 Ontario Road in N.W.

“Here at the Pregnancy Center, we encourage young girls to not have abortions and show them there are resources and people who care about them and their baby,” Graves said.

According to Planned Parenthood, thousands of abortions are performed a year and approximately 30-35 abortions are performed everyday of the week. More than half of the women aborting their babies are teens.

Donald Flenn, 19, of Northwest, DC and a sophomore at the University of the District of Columbia said that many of his friends have actually made their girlfriends get an abortion because they were not financially stable.

“I have two jobs at the moment and I’m still struggling to pay my tuition through school and pay my rent, so I know for a fact that if I had a child I would not be able to take care of it,” he said.

Abortions amongst teens are most common in the low-income areas of the District.

Psychologist Deborah Thurman, 52, of Prince George’s County, M.D. said that girls who live in low-income areas are less likely to use condoms and birth control while sexually active.

“They are less likely to be taught by their parents or advisors how to protect themselves from getting pregnant,” Thurman said. “More health education classes should be provided in high schools and neighborhood boys and girls clubs that cater to low-income teens.”

Thurman said that if more support services were available, there would be fewer abortions.