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Sex, Abortion and Health Insurance Examined

Nancy Folbre, an economics professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst offers an important overview of the implications of abortion restrictions (the so-called Stupak-Pitts Amendment) in the House health care bill. In her post in the New York Times Economix blog, Professor Folbre explains:

If a Stupak-Pitts type restriction is put in place, a significant number of low-income women would be required to pay for abortions out-of-pocket or to continue an unwanted pregnancy. The cumulative effects — compounded by the spillovers on private insurance practices — would be large. The Guttmacher Institute estimates that at current rates, about a third of women will have had an abortion by age 45.

She concludes:

With sex (as with food and exercise) Americans don’t seem, on average, to be very good at planning. Almost one-half of all pregnancies—and about one-third of births–are described as “unintended.”

We need insurance for a reason.

This program aired on November 30, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

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