Study says federal aid can reduce abortions

ccording to statistics from the New York-based Alan Guttmacher Institute, abortions peaked at 1.6 million in 1990. By 2000, that number had dropped to 1.31 million. In 2005, the last year statistics are available, the number was 1.2 million.

Wright says states that gave more generous grants to those families had a 20 percent lower rate of abortion.

“This is not a call for more social spending in the aggregate,” he said. “It’s a call for more targeted assistance. That’s a very different framework than saying, just throw more money at the problem.”

One initial suggestion Wright has is lifting what’s known as the “family cap.” As part of the 1990s changes to welfare law, welfare recipients no longer received additional aid for additional children. Welfare critics had claimed that poor women had more children to get more assistance.

Wright said that despite the family cap, poor women had the same number of pregnancies. But without the additional assistance, more women had abortions rather than giving birth. That’s not what welfare critics had in mind, he said.

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