OTI Newsletter – February 23, 2012

OTI Newsletter – February 23, 2012

What’s next for women’s reproductive autonomy? According to a study featured in this edition of On The Issues Magazine, it depends on the economy. From the Editors:

A new study puts another face on women’s reproductive decision-making during an economic downturn. It indicates that low-income women increasingly are being forced to “choose” abortions out of economic need.

Conducted by independent researcher Robin H. Pugh Yi, Ph.D., president of Akeso Consulting in Vienna, Virginia, the study is called Abortionomics: When Choice Is a Necessity, The Impact of Recession on Abortion. The analysis was commissioned by Merle Hoffman, founder and president of Choices Women’s Medical Center, after hearing anecdotal information from abortion patients that today’s economic hardships were a large factor in women’s decisions to have abortions. The findings were presented by Hoffman and Pugh Yi at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. on Jan. 17, 2011.

On one hand, it seems obvious: When the economy dips, it’s harder for people to raise a family. But this living reality, borne out in the report’s data, remains outside today’s heated political debates about abortion and birth control. As a result, too many politicians seem oblivious to the consequences of unwanted pregnancies and, when carried to term, the resulting births that impose difficult, if not impossible, financial burdens on already strapped mothers and families.

Click here to continue reading what our editors have to say about Abortionomics, and click here to read the full report.

Our Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Merle Hoffman has been making headlines with the release of her memoir and the move of Choices Women’s Medical Center To Jamaica, Queens. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out her most recent coverage in New York Magazine:

“I don’t have a problem saying the word ­abortion,” says Merle Hoffman, the ­reproductive-rights activist who describes herself as the woman who brought abortion from the back alley to the boardroom. “I think it’s important to own it—one out of three woman before the age of 45!”

Hoffman is sitting in her office at Choices Women’s Medical Center, a Long Island City abortion clinic she opened at the age of 25, two years before Roe v.Wade. Choices celebrated its 40th anniversary last year in imperial fashion, by announcing it was expanding and moving its major operations to an 18,000-square-foot facility in Jamaica, where 78 percent of her patients come from. “Jamaica is like a third-world country in New York,” Hoffman says bluntly. “It has a 35 percent higher teenage pregnancy rate. You have a very disenfranchised population.”

The Latest From the Café

Once a Jane, always a Jane: Judith Arcana writes about women doing what needs to be done in the past, present, and future tense.
And comedian Sara Benincasa writes about how her abortion politics were forever changed by a broken condom, Planned Parenthood, and “the woman who stayed at her job an hour later than necessary to talk a scared young woman through an incredibly safe medical experience. “


Abortion is a Moral Decision by Rev. Debra W. Haffer

A Counselor’s View: Embracing A Holistic Perspective of Abortion by Linda Weber

We want to hear what you think about the ideas in the magazine. Please contribute your thoughts to our comments section at the end of every story and Café piece, or write a letter to the editor.

And we hope you’ll share this rich repository of material with your friends and colleagues — find us on Facebook and Twitter! We’re using the hashtag #abortion this issue, so add it to your tweets to jump in the conversation.

Thanks for reading!

P.S. On The Issues Magazine is celebrating the impending warm weather by gearing up for our Spring issue: Girls, Women, and Sports. If you’d like to contribute a piece on this topic, please contact [email protected].