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Social Resources, Abortion, and Contraceptive Use Among Women With Criminal Justice Histories

, Patricia Kelly, Megha Ramaswamy

Abstract: Women in the criminal legal system face structural barriers to social resources such as education, employment, and benefits. Little is known how these resources intersect with their reproductive lives, specifically with obtaining abortions. We explored the relationship between social resources and abortion history among women incarcerated in a county jail through a secondary analysis of survey data from a 2014 to 2016 jail-based sexual health intervention. Regression analyses determined correlates of having an abortion history. Thirty percent of participants had an abortion and were more likely to have at least a high school education (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 3.3; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.25–8.77) and a history of sexually transmitted infections (aOR = 3.2; 95% CI = 1.25–8.06). Appropriate systems-level efforts should be expanded to support women with criminal legal histories in their reproductive lives.
Keywords: abortion / contraceptive use / incarcerated women / reproductive health

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