SALT LAKE CITY – A new study from the University of Utah is taking a first of its kind look at the impact of abortion on teenage boys, suggesting teenage males, whose partners have chosen to have an abortion, may have a better socioeconomic future.
“There have been studies that have looked at women’s use of abortion and its impact on their future socioeconomic status, however, no research has been done on the use of abortion and the future of men’s socioeconomic study,” said lead study author, Dr. Bethany Everett, an assistant professor in the U of U’s Department of Sociology.
“Abortion is generally framed as a woman’s issue,” said Everett. “In almost all cases of pregnancy, there is usually a male partner who may be impacted by the presence or absence of a child.”
In the study, researchers used a sample of men who reported pregnancy before the age of 20. They then looked at ten years’ worth of data comparing education and income levels between those whose partners had live births and those whose partners had abortions.
Researchers claimed the findings of the study show teenage males who avoid parenthood through their partner’s use of abortion, have higher educational attainment.
“What we found is about ten years later, only 6% of men whose partners had live births, had graduated from college, and that’s compared to 22% of men whose partners had terminated their pregnancy,” Everett said.
While education levels saw stark differences, the income levels between those with abortions and those who lived with their children, were almost the same.
“This may be driven by the fact that men who have decided to reside with their child or their partner have sort of an extra push to be wage earners,” said Everett.
However, income levels varied greatly when comparing those groups to men who reported a live birth but did not live with their children.
Researchers believe the results show the need for abortion access.
“What our results suggest is that continuing to restrict access or use of abortion may also negatively impact male partners,” Everett said.
Meanwhile, pro-life groups in Utah found issue with what the study represents.
“The promise of future income to men is a morally reprehensible argument for the intentional killing of a human being. You cannot place a price tag on a life, and no amount of money justifies killing a child,” Deanna Holland, the Vice President of Pro-Life Utah said in a statement to Fox 13.
Other pro-life groups, like Utah Eagle Forum, said their stance remains the same.
“Of course it’s different for a man than it is for a woman, but if the end result isn’t giving the baby life, whether they decide to keep the baby or put the baby up for adoption, they’ll always know they did the right thing,” said Gayle Ruzicka, President of Utah Eagle Forum.
More data will be released this fall, giving seven to eight more years of data from those same study participants. Everett believes the data will give great insight into whether the data is staying consistent.