The Family Life Services Clinic impacts the greater Ann Arbor region with life-saving and life-changing services and support. This is why we have prepared this community impact statement.
Family Life Services Center is committed to building “communities of healing and hope by compassionately responding to human need in the spirit of Jesus Christ.” Our mission and values of providing pregnancy alternatives to abortion helps us reduce the negative impact of abortion in our community.
ABORTION IMPACTS THE ANN ARBOR COMMUNITY
ISSUES THAT CONTRIBUTE TO ABORTION
Negative Impact on the Mother’s Life
A pregnancy that occurs in the wrong place at the wrong time is often perceived as a threat to a woman’s ability to finish school and earn a living. Less than half of teens who become mothers before age 18 graduate from high school. College students who become pregnant and give birth are also much less likely to complete their education than their peers.
Employed single women who become pregnant face an interruption of their jobs and careers. This impacts their earning ability and may make them feel they are unable to raise a child on their own. For women who already have other children at home or are caring for aging relatives, the reduction in income resulting from pregnancy/birth may bring them below the poverty level and require them to seek public assistance.
Whether she’s a high school or college student, or a single woman earning just enough to live independently, many expectant mothers lack the resources to cover the staggeringly high costs associated with pregnancy, birth, and child-rearing, especially if they do not have health insurance.
Saving for a baby is one thing, but an unplanned pregnancy places an enormous financial burden on a woman who cannot afford to care for an infant, let alone pay for the necessary OB/GYN visits that will ensure healthy fetal development. Lack of adequate medical care during pregnancy places the newborn at a higher risk for complications during birth and in early infancy.
That figure, coupled with the cost of raising a child from infancy through age 17 (estimated at over $200,000 per child), makes giving birth a terrifying proposition for someone who is still in school, or lacks a steady income, or simply does not have the financial resources to continue a pregnancy with adequate medical care and give birth to a healthy baby.
Relationship Problems and/or Unwillingness To Be a Single Mother
The majority of women with unplanned pregnancies do not live with their partners or have committed relationships. These women realize that in all likelihood they will be raising their child as a single mother. Many are unwilling to take this big step due to the reasons described above: interruption of education or career, insufficient financial resources, or inability to care for an infant due to caregiving needs of other children or family members.
Even in situations involving women cohabitating with their partners, the outlook for unmarried women as single mothers in discouraging; for women in their 20s living with their partners at the time of birth, one-third ended their relationships within two years.
Other Reasons expressed by women
Although these are not the primary reasons women choose abortion, the following statements reflect concerns that play a role in influencing women to terminate their pregnancies:
- I don’t want more children or I’m done with childrearing
- I’m not ready to become a mother or not ready for another child
- I don’t want others to know about my pregnancy or that I’m having sex
- My husband/partner wants me to have an abortion
- There are problems with the health of fetus
- There are problems with my own health
- My parents want me to have an abortion
Combined with those reasons previously cited, these secondary concerns often convince women that abortion to feel that abortion — though a difficult and painful choice — is the best decision for them at this time in their lives.
Risk factors for long-term adverse psychological sequelae post-abortion
The 10% of women who experience long-term psychological sequelae are more likely to display certain characteristics and demographic similarities that are more likely to predispose them to severe psychological effects. These include previous psychiatric history, poor relationships with others (especially mother or partner), older, multiparous women with existing children, and religious affiliation.
In addition, it has been found that women who are younger, and those with low self-esteem and poor social support, are at greater risk of long-term adverse psychological outcomes. Women who have experienced multiple abortions and women who experienced ambivalence in deciding on abortion have been shown to be more likely to suffer long-term adverse psychological outcomes. Ambivalence is a significant confounding feature associated with the decision-making process. Accordingly, ambivalence or conflict surrounding the abortion decision is one of the most potent predictors of problematic post-abortion emotional adjustment. It is common that women confronted with an unwanted pregnancy may experience some level of ambivalence.
WOMEN HELPING WOMEN, MEN & FAMILIES:
Programs and Services of Family Life Services
Our clients are women who think they might be pregnant; they may have recently missed a period or taken a home pregnancy test, and they may be worried about an unplanned pregnancy. Our services of free pregnancy testing, limited ultrasound, parenting classes, and community referrals help us reduce the negative community impact of abortion and unplanned pregnancy.
Community Impact Statement: Family Life Services 2014
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