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This article considers the impact of laws and policies that determine who experiences unplanned pregnancy, who has abortions, and how economic status shapes one’s response to unplanned pregnancy. There is a well-documented correlation between abortion and poverty: poor women have more abortions than do their richer sisters. Equally well-documented is the correlation between unplanned pregnancy and poverty. Finally, the high cost of motherhood for poor women and their offspring manifests in disproportionately high lifelong rates of poverty, ill-health and mortality for offspring and mothers, alike. Read together, these factors offer a vivid illustration of the medicalization of poverty.


Published in the Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, Volume: 46 issue: 3, page(s): 665-671. Article first published online: October 18, 2018; Issue published: September 1, 2018



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