The Turnaway Study: Ten Years, a Thousand Women, and the Consequences of Having—or Being Denied—an Abortion

October 31, 2020
The Turnaway Study: Ten Years, a Thousand Women, and the Consequences of Having—or Being Denied—an Abortion

"If you read only one book about democracy, The TurnawayStudy should be it. Why? Because without the power to makedecisions about our own bodies, there is no democracy." —GloriaSteinem"Dr. Diana Greene Foster brings what is too often missingfrom the public debate around abortion: science, data, and thereal-life experiences of people from diverse backgrounds...Thisshould be required reading for every judge, member of Congress, andcandidate for office—as well as anyone who hopes to betterunderstand this complex and important issue." —Cecile Richards,cofounder of Supermajority, former president of Planned Parenthood,and author of Make TroubleA groundbreaking and illuminating look at the state ofabortion access in America and the first long-term study of theconsequences—emotional, physical, financial, professional,personal, and psychological—of receiving versus being denied anabortion on women's lives.What happens when a woman seeking an abortion is turned away? DianaGreene Foster, PhD, decided to find out. With a team ofscientists—psychologists, epidemiologists, demographers, nursingscholars, and public health researchers—she set out to discover theeffect of receiving versus being denied an abortion on women'slives. Over the course of a ten-year investigation that began in2007, she and her team followed a thousand women from more thantwenty states, some of whom received their abortions, some of whomwere turned away.Now, for the first time, the results of this landmark study—thelargest of its kind to examine women's experiences with abortionand unwanted pregnancy in the United States—have been gatheredtogether in one place. Here Foster presents the emotional,physical, and socioeconomic outcomes for women who received theirabortion and those who were denied. She analyzes the impact ontheir mental and physical health, their careers, their romanticlives, their professional aspirations, and even their existing andfuture children—and finds that women who received an abortion werealmost always better off than women who were denied one. Interwovenwith these findings are ten riveting first-person narratives bywomen who share their candid stories.As the debate about abortion rights intensifies, The TurnawayStudy offers an in-depth examination of the real-world consequencesfor women of being denied abortions and provides evidence to refutethe claim that abortion harms women. With brilliant synthesis andstartling statistics—that thousands of American women are unable toaccess abortions; that 99% of women who receive an abortion do notregret it five years later—The Turnaway Study is a necessary andrevelatory look at the impact of abortion access on people'slives.