Group Warns that Cuomo Abortion Expansion Would Reverse Progress

Pro-Abortion NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Pro-Abortion NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo

New York, NY, March 6–Discernible progress is being made in New York City on the ratio of abortions to live births just released 2011 City data shows, but that progress could easily be reversed if Governor Andrew Cuomo forces through an abortion expansion measure in Albany that could drive abortion rates higher, the Chiaroscuro Foundation today said.

While the city remained the abortion capital of America in 2011, with abortion ratios almost twice the national average (the national average was 22% in 2008), the ratio of live births to abortions citywide in 2011 fell below 40% (39.55%) for the first time since 1970, when abortion was legalized in New York. The Bronx continues to lead the city in percentage of abortions to live births at 47.97%, and Staten Island women terminated pregnancies the least often at 29.89%.

The ratio of abortions for African-American women remained demographically highest in the city in 2011 at 57.7%. Asian and Pacific Island women had the lowest ratio at 18.2%. City abortion data from 1994-2011, broken down by borough and ethnicity, is available here

“New York City has one of the highest abortion rates in America, but progress is slowly being made,” said Greg Pfundstein, president of the Chiaroscuro Foundation. “It is all the more alarming then that Governor Cuomo is talking about measures in Albany, like allowing non-physicians to perform abortions, that would dramatically increase the number of abortions in the state. Polling clearly shows that New Yorkers think there are too many abortions as it is, and we hope Governor Cuomo is beginning to hear that message.”

Recent statewide polling on the issue is available here, and a comprehensive 2010 citywide survey on abortion attitudes is available here.

In the midst of the overall progress, the number of late term abortions after 21 weeks reached a reached a ten year high as a percentage of the total number of pregnancies.

Of the 203,514 viable pregnancies in New York City in 2011, 80,485 were terminated by abortion. 2,085 (or 2.59%) of the abortions performed in the City in 2011 were performed at gestational ages of 21 weeks or later.

“Gov. Cuomo’s effort to expand late term abortions will certainly drive this number higher in the coming years if he forces through his abortion expansion effort,” Pfundstein said. “At a time when medical advances have enabled doctors to save younger and younger preterm babies, the Governor’s effort to increase the number of late term abortions in unconscionable.”

The Chiaroscuro Foundation is a not-for-profit organization seeking to reduce the number of abortions in New York and provide pregnant women with viable alternatives to alternatives to abortion.