In American pop culture, the face of abortion is often a frightened teenager, nervously choosing to terminate an unexpected pregnancy. The numbers tell a far more complex story in which financial stress can play a pivotal role.Some are glad they did it. Some now regret it:
Half of the roughly 1.2 million U.S. women who have abortions each year are 25 or older. Only about 17 percent are teens. About 60 percent have given birth to least one child prior to getting an abortion.
A disproportionately high number are black or Hispanic. And regardless of race, high abortion rates are linked to hard times...
But fortunately all of them had a choice.
“It wasn’t a hard decision for me to make, because I knew where I wanted to go in my life — I’ve never regretted it,” said Kimberly Mathias, 28, an African-American single mother from Missouri.
She had an abortion at 19, when she already raising a 2-year-old son.
“It wasn’t hard to realize I didn’t want another child at that time,” Mathias said. “I was trying to take care of the one I had, and going to college and working at the same time.”
She was able to graduate, now has an insurance job, and — still a single mother — has a 3-year-old son as well as her first-born, now 11.
By contrast, Alveda King, a niece of Martin Luther King Jr., calls herself a “reformed murderer” for undergoing two abortions when she was young.