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The Consequences of Having – or Being Denied – An Abortion

An image of an infographic describing the Consequences of Having – or Being Denied – An Abortion

The Turnaway Study is the first long-term study to examine how receiving versus being denied a wanted abortion affects women and their children. On Dec. 1, 2021, the Supreme Court of the United States heard arguments on the constitutionality of Mississippi’s ban on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. If the court decides to uphold the Mississippi law, the study helps show what that would mean for pregnant people and their families.

Here’s how the Turnaway Study worked: We recruited more than 1000 women at the time they sought an abortion. Some of the women were too far along in their pregnancies to receive an abortion at the clinic that they visited — and thus were turned away — while others were just under the clinic’s gestational limit and received an abortion. We followed the women for five years to ask them about their physical and mental health, finances, family relationships, and career aspirations. All the difference in outcomes for the two groups was attributable to whether they got the abortion they sought or not. This infographic summarizes what we found.

The science is clear: When people can get the abortion they want, both they and their children do better, for years to come.