In 2004, Lawrence Finer, Lori Frohwirth, Lindsay Dauphinee, Susheela Singh, and Ann M. Moore surveyed women patients at eleven large abortion providers. Their numbers, though imperfect, are pretty compelling when one considers the actual impact of proposed policy changes in the event Roe vs. Wade is overturned. The table below indicates women’s “most important” reason to seek an abortion. It presumably captures urgent cases such as a serious threat to women’s health. (Great graphic. One typo. “>0.5″ should be “<0.5.”)

There’s one immediate implication to these numbers. Governor Romney is more civil and rhetorically moderate than Todd Akin or Richard Mourdock. Yet if states were to embrace Romney’s preferred policyof banning abortions with exceptions for rape, incest, and (I infer) serious threats to maternal health, they would ban almost all abortions in America.

I say more about these issues, in The Nation, today.

[Cross-posted at The Reality-based Community]

Harold Pollack

Harold Pollack is the Helen Ross Professor at the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago.