Trends of Induced Abortions in the State of Georgia - A Comparison of Four Race/Ethnic Groups: White, Black, Asian & Hispanic, 1994-2007 Open Access

Bergander, Linn (2011)

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Background: In 2006, over half of all induced abortions in Georgia were obtained by black women; however, only one-third of the population in Georgia is represented by the black race. This study will examine the use of induced abortions by different race and ethnic groups.

Objective: This research aimed to investigate the trends of women who obtained induced abortions in the state of Georgia from 1994 to 2007, by race and ethnicity. Age, marital status, education, gravidity and place of residence were considered.

Methods: This study used induced abortion and live birth data from Georgia's Division of Public Health to conduct a descriptive analysis. Abortion ratios (abortions per 1,000 live births) were calculated to describe demographic and pregnancy-related variables, by race and ethnicity. Pregnancy outcomes included 423,123 induced abortions and 1,817,786 live births.

Results: Overall, the abortion ratio in the state of Georgia declined and black women consistently had a higher abortion ratio than any other race or ethnicity. All age groups for black women had high abortion ratios. The abortion ratio for unmarried white women declined rapidly, by nearly 70%, whereas, the abortion ratio for black women dropped 22%. Furthermore, ratios declined for both black and white women for each public health district; but they remained higher for black women than white women in all districts and the abortion ratios were higher for women in the Atlanta metro area than among residents of more distant health districts.

Discussion: Compared to other races/ethnicities, black women end a higher proportion of pregnancies in abortions than in live births. Unmarried white women are increasingly more likely to end a pregnancy in birth rather than abortion. Among black women, pregnancy is more likely to end in abortion if that pregnancy is not their first or if they live in metro Atlanta. Reasons for race/ethnic disparities are directly related to higher rates of unintended pregnancies. Georgia surveys show that black women are more likely than white women to have an unintended pregnancy. Other studies show that comprehensive sex education, improved access to contraceptive, insurance and healthcare will decrease unintended pregnancies and low abortion ratios.

Table of Contents

List of Tables...ix
List of Figures...x

Problem Statement...2
Research Questions...5
Study Significance...6

History of U.S. & Georgia Law...7
Race & Ethnicity Definitions & Measurements...13
Reproductive Demographics in Georgia...14
Abortion and Race in the U.S. & Georgia...16 Charges Eugenics through Family Planning...18

Literature Review...21

Trends of Induced Abortions in the U.S....22
Racial Influence on Induced Abortions in the U.S....27
Racial Influence on Induced Abortions in Georgia...31


Georgia's Division of Public Health...38
Online Analytical Statistical Information System (OASIS)...38
Induced Termination of Pregnancy (ITOP)...39
Sampling Design & Data Collection...39
Research Design...40
Statistical Considerations...43


Abortion & Birth Reporting...44

Live Births...46
Induced Abortions...47

Abortions Trends by Race & Ethnic Group...49
Stratified Demographic Characteristics for Abortions...50

Marital Status...56
Highest Level of Education...61
Repeat or First Pregnancy...63
Race, Age & Marital Status...67



Implications & Recommendations...76


Appendix A: Protected Health Information - Data Use Memorandum...84
Appendix B: Selected indicators for live birth data, 1994-2007...90
Appendix C: Selected indicators for induced abortions, 1994-2007...93

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