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Opinion Piece Calls For Comprehensive Policies To Reduce Abortion Rates, Improve Health Among Black Women

Source: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com

13.08.08    Accusations in the media that black women have higher abortion rates than white women because abortion is "more aggressively marketed" toward blacks "mis[s] the point and distrac[t] from the real issue: the persistent health disparities faced by women, and men, in the African-American community," Melissa Gilliam, an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Chicago and chair of the Guttmacher Institute's board of directors, writes in a Philadelphia Inquirer opinion piece.

According to Gilliam, black women have higher rates of abortions than white women because they have much higher rates of unintended pregnancies. "In other words, there is no need to resort to far-flung conspiracy theories to explain the higher abortion rate among black women," Gilliam says. Gilliam writes that the abortion rates among black women are part of the larger picture of disproportionately worse sexual and reproductive health outcomes compared with people from other races and that the root causes of general health disparities among blacks, are "manifold." There is a "long history of discrimination; lack of access to high quality, affordable health care; too few educational and professional opportunities; unequal access to safe, clean neighborhoods; and, for some African-Americans, a lingering mistrust of the medical community," she adds.

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