Several University of Utah professors publicly touted the benefits of abortions for men in a recent study they conducted. The university is the flagship university for the state and is located in the state capital of Salt Lake City, Utah. The politics of the university’s faculty is often at odds with the state’s more conservative population, a majority of whom are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
The press release from the university ran with the title, “MEN WHO AVOID TEEN PARENTHOOD THROUGH PARTNERS’ USE OF ABORTION GAIN LONG-TERM ECONOMIC BENEFITS, FIRST OF ITS KIND STUDY SAYS,” and quoted the lead author, assistant sociology professor Bethany Everett. Her co-authors work in the university’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology within the university’s School of Medicine, Kyl Myers, a research assistant professor; Jessica N. Sanders, an adjunct assistant professor; and David K. Turok, an associate professor.
The researchers claimed that prior studies “have shown an association between adolescent girls’ access to abortion services to end an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy and subsequent educational attainment, avoidance of bad relationships and socioeconomic status” and this study “shows the girls’ teenage male partners also have higher educational attainment if they avoid becoming a parent through the use of abortion.”
Everett called the potential fathers “abortion beneficiaries,” which was a term coined by one Katie Watson in her book, “Scarlet A: The Ethics, Law and Politics of Ordinary Abortion.”
The Journal of Adolescent Health published the study. The press release then paraphrased Everett as saying it is a “timely” study as there are “renewed efforts to limit access to abortion.” She added that what they “found is that women’s use of abortion during adolescence increases the likelihood that their male partners will graduate from college.”
Everett claimed, “Restricting access to abortion will not only negatively impact women, but has far reaching damaging effects for partners and families.” The study’s data came from data on men who reported a pregnancy before the age of 20 that ended in a live birth or an abortion, compiled by the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health in 1994. The researchers compared that data to college completion and income reported in 2007-2008. The researchers claimed that among men who reported a live birth, “about a third completed any form of post-high school education and approximately 6% graduated from college.” In contrast, the researchers claimed, “Among men who reported a pregnancy that ended in an abortion, 59% completed post-high school education and 22% completed college.”
Everett said that after abortion, “The men who live with their children also may experience a “fatherhood bump” from employers who see them as more reliable and employable because of their parenthood.” She added, “Given what we know about the links between education and future income, it is likely that the wage gap will widen as these men age, allowing men whose partners reported abortions to continue to reap financial benefits from access to abortion.”
However, pro-life groups in Utah pointed out that several of the co-authors have express pro-abortion views and therefore, the study’s impartiality and conclusions questionable, at best.