Why do women have abortions?

In a recent opinion piece on LifeSiteNews, Randall K. O’Bannon analyzes a recent study by researches at the University of California San Francisco on the reasons women seek abortions. The opinion piece, “Women have abortions because they feel trapped and hopeless, study finds,” looks at the findings of the article, “Understanding why women seek abortions in the U.S.,” by M. Antonia Biggs, Heather Gould, and Diana Greene Foster, from the July 5, 2013, edition of BMC Women’s Health.

O’Bannan, the National Right to Life Director of Education and Research, uses the data to explore the kinds of assistance women need to help them decide for alternatives to abortion:

Identifying one single approach that will address every woman’s concerns and change her mind is difficult, given the multiplicity of the reasons and rationales given by women for seeking abortion. Some will be benefited by being connected to better support systems, while others need practical economic assistance. Anything making men more responsible for the children they father will go a long way towards helping many of these women care for their children.

Among his conclusions, he states:

If we believe the survey, most of the women seeking to abort here did so, not because they were triumphantly exercising their “power to choose,” but because they felt like–given the circumstances–they had no other realistic choice. Abortion forces on them a cruel, violent, destructive option that does little to solve their basic social or economic problems, problems, which may, in part, themselves be a consequence of Roe’s forced cultural transformation.




Robert Gotcher is a dogmatic and moral theologian and long-time member of UFL who received his Ph.D. from Marquette University. He and his wife, Kathy, are raising their seven children in Franklin, Wisconsin.