Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 17, Issue 6, pp 1811–1818 | Cite as

Knowledge of Abortion Laws and Services Among Low-Income Women in Three United States Cities

  • Diana Lara
  • Kelsey Holt
  • Melanie Peña
  • Daniel Grossman
Original Paper


Low-income women and women of color are disproportionately affected by unintended pregnancy. Lack of knowledge of abortion laws and services is one of several factors likely to hinder access to services, though little research has documented knowledge in this population. Survey with convenience sample of 1,262 women attending primary care or full-scope Ob/Gyn clinics serving low-income populations in three large cities and multivariable analyses with four knowledge outcomes. Among all participants, 53 % were first-generation immigrants, 25 % identified the correct gestational age limit, 41 % identified state parental consent laws, 67 % knew partner consent is not required, and 55 % knew where to obtain abortion services. In multivariable analysis, first-generation immigrants and primarily Spanish speakers were significantly less likely than higher-generation or primarily English speakers to display correct knowledge. Design and evaluation of strategies to improve knowledge about abortion, particularly among migrant women and non-primary English speakers, is needed.


Abortion Abortion laws Low-income population Migration Latino 



The authors thank our interviewers: Alma Avila Pilchman, Monti Castaneda, Denisse Cordova, Cecilia Marquez, Erica Seppala, and Margarita Velasco, as well as the clinic staff who helped coordinate the study at each site. The authors also thank the Society of Family Planning, Wallace A. Gerbode Foundation, David and Lucille Packard Foundation, Mary Wohlford Foundation, and an anonymous donor. The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the Society of Family Planning.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diana Lara
    • 1
  • Kelsey Holt
    • 2
  • Melanie Peña
    • 3
  • Daniel Grossman
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy StudiesUniversity of California San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Social and Behavioral SciencesHarvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  3. 3.Gynuity Health ProjectsNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.Ibis Reproductive HealthOaklandUSA
  5. 5.Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Bixby Center for Global Reproductive HealthUniversity of California San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA

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