The non-profit Chiaroscuro Foundation has been working for months to make Americans in general, New Yorkers in particular, aware of the astronomical abortion toll in New York City. The numbers are mind-numbing: 41 % of all viable pregnancies end in abortion–nearly twice the national average. In 2009 60 % of the pregnancies of African-American women in New York ended in abortion.
Using bus ads, press conferences, opinion pieces, and articles, the Chiaroscuro Foundation and like-minded organizations have been diligent in publicizing these shocking figures in as many venues as possible.
The questions the Chiaroscuro Foundation wants people to ask are “how did this happen?” and “what can we do about it?”
The how is fairly straightforward. New York state has some of the most liberal abortion laws in the United States. Abortion on demand is freely available for any reason through 24 weeks of pregnancy and Medicare will pay for “medically necessary” abortions, a wide-open term.
But there is hope. The Foundation recent polled New Yorkers and found that they do not have the foggiest idea how many abortions there are in their city, oppose that huge figure, and support protective legislation. (See nyc41percent.com.)
Sixty-four percent of New Yorkers, for example, think that there are too many abortions, including 57% self-identifying as pro-choice. A majority, 51%, agreed that a 24-hour waiting period before an abortion should be required.
Furthermore a majority , 63%, disapproved of a minor daughter getting an abortion without her parents’ consent. And 9 out of 10 of those polled gave the thumbs-up to providing woman with information, prior to an abortion, about the abortion procedure and her options
“When New Yorkers learn how many abortions are taking place in their city every year, they are shocked,” said Greg Pfundstein, executive director of the Chiaroscuro Foundation. “Pro-choice and pro-life New Yorkers overwhelmingly agree that the 41% abortion ratio is too high.”
Complicating matters, the New York City Council just passed regulations designed to hinder the work of crisis pregnancy centers–making it difficult to help women in need. For example, the city council wants crisis pregnancy centers to post in bold lettering in a prominent place that they do not perform abortions or refer for them. Crisis pregnancy centers must make this information clear on their website and state it verbally as well. And they must post whether a medical provider is available on site. None of this is required of abortion clinics.
In addition, the council’s action allows aggrieved individuals [any person offended by the work of a CPC ]to pursue lawsuits against crisis pregnancy centers. This opens up crisis pregnancy centers to lawsuits from individuals who are offended by the very existence of the CPC.
Pro-abortion groups like NARAL have tried to effectively shut down crisis pregnancy centers by pushing these regulations all across the country in state legislatures and city councils. Pro-abortion legislators introduced similar legislation in Washington State in November, but without action in the full House, the legislation expired on Monday. In the city of Baltimore, a similar law had been enacted but in January a federal judge overturned it, ruling that it unconstitutionally infringed on free speech rights.
“We are very glad to see that time has run out on the proposed Washington state law,” Pfundstein said of the legislation. “With the Baltimore law already ruled unconstitutional and the New York City law sure to be challenged, perhaps NARAL’s ruse has run its course and we can avoid sinking more time and resources into defending valuable service organizations against this nationally-orchestrated attack and focus on providing aid to women in need.”
Hundreds of volunteers in crisis pregnancy centers across America dedicate their time and lives to helping women in need. New York City is no different and the crisis pregnancy centers there face an upcoming battle to continue their work. The poll conducted for the Chiaroscuro Foundation will go far in advancing their cause.