Fairfax, Virginia, June 22, 2023 – The DFLA Education Fund released a comprehensive map which guages pregnancy equity in a post-Roe environment. Pregnancy equity is an important concept that addresses the ability of women to make decisions about their pregnancies without being constrained by financial handcuffs or lack of access to resources. It encompasses the idea that all women should have the opportunity to choose to carry a pregnancy to term, regardless of their socioeconomic status or the state in which they reside.
“Even within a patchwork of abortion laws, every state can focus on addressing pregnancy equity,” said Kristen Day, Executive Director of the DFLA Education Fund. “We need to craft solutions to support those in underserved and underprivileged communities who are being silenced and forgotten amidst all the noise about the legality of abortion. It’s time to shift our focus.”
Economic factors, such as lack of financial resources, limited access to healthcare, and inadequate support systems can disproportionately affect a decision regarding pregnancy. Maternal mortality rates, and funding for abortion amidst a lack of overall social and governmental support for pregnant and parenting women are all factors that impact pregnancy equity outcomes. The DFLA Education Fund Pregnancy Equity Scorecard evaluates and compares the level of pregnancy equity across states using a holistic set of criteria.
“The results reveal gaps that must be understood and addressed across red, blue, and purple states,” added J.T. Kopczynski, Director of Analytics at the DFLA Education Fund. “We have much to do regarding promoting pregnancy equity. Bipartisan cooperation is critical for advancing a solution to give women and parents what they need during and after pregnancy.”
The Pregnancy Equity Scorecard indicates that states can differ drastically on abortion, pre-birth, and post-birth policies yet have similar pregnancy equity outcome scores. For example, Texas and California have similar scores yet very different pregnancy and parenting policies. All states have areas and initiatives in which they can improve.
A barrier to pregnancy equity is clearly financial.
“According to the Guttmacher Institute, 75% of women who have abortions are financially insecure,” pointed out Day. “This statistic highlights the significant impact financial stability can have on reproductive choices.”
The DFLA Education Fund calls upon legislators to view the scorecard as a roadmap to pass laws that will make resources and support more affordable, available, and accessible for every woman and parent to have an equal opportunity to carry, birth, and raise their children. Financial status should never constrain the ability to carry, birth, and parent children. When the decision to terminate a pregnancy is driven by financial inequality, society has failed the family in that situation.
Choice requires the actual ability to choose.
“There has been so much vitriol and division in discussions about abortion. Scoring political points has become the main priority when the priority should be addressing the barriers to pregnancy and parenting,” Day explained. “We urge political leaders to expand social safety nets and build a strong infrastructure for the challenges that face us in a post-Roe America.