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'We all know somebody' | Research shows nearly 1 in 4 women have an abortion

The Knoxville Center for Reproductive Health said most of the women seeking an abortion are already mothers.

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Across the U.S., the Guttmacher Institute estimates one in four women will get an abortion by the time they turn 45 years old.

"We all know somebody who's had an abortion," said Corinne Rovetti, a nurse practitioner at the Knoxville Center for Reproductive Health. "If people felt comfortable and they weren't judged and criticized and stigmatized so much, then we would know how common this procedure is."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also said nearly 60% of women who get an abortion are in their 20s.

About half of them are unmarried and have an income below the poverty level, according to the CDC. Roughly 43% seek an abortion within the first six weeks of their pregnancy; another 36% seek medical help between seven and nine weeks.

Nearly two-thirds of them are already mothers, the CDC estimates. That's typical of the patients seeking an abortion at the Knoxville Center for Reproductive Health too.

Credit: WBIR

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"Those people know whether they can afford — financially, emotionally physically — to support another child or not. They know what parenting is all about," Rovetti said. "They want to give their best to the children they have. And sometimes, they make the decision that another child is not in the best interest for their family."

Rovetti fears the potential consequences if the Supreme Court overturns Roe V. Wade in their final opinion, which is expected in June.

"Abortion has always existed. Abortion will always exist. It's just a matter whether it'll be safe and legal," she said. "The vulnerable women will be scrambling and finding black market medications and/or finding other ways to be able to get medication."

Rovetti doesn't know what the future of her clinic will hold if the Supreme Court draft is finalized. She fears the ruling could open a pathway for legislators to restrict access to contraceptives too.

"We might be closed down," she said. "The way Tennessee law is written, we will not be able to provide abortion services."