HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Friday, January 7, 2022

Motherhood, Abortion, and the Medicalization of Women’s Poverty

Michelle Oberman (Santa Clara University), Motherhood, Abortion, and the Medicalization of Women’s Poverty, 46 J.L. Med. & Ethics 665 (2018):

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.

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