By Dave Andrusko
Editor’s note. Yesterday we talked about the good news that in 2012 the number of abortions had decreased in New York City to 73,815. The abortion ratio–the percentage of pregnancies ending in an abortion—also dropped. We’re doing a follow up post, based on additional analysis and comments from the Chiaroscuro Foundation and Barbara Meara, chairman of New York State Right to Life.
New York City’s abortion ratio dropped substantially in 2012, according to data released by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene last week. While the City’s abortion rate is still nearly twice the national average, the progress is encouraging.
“We have been raising awareness about New York City’s high rate of abortion for the past four years, and we are certainly encouraged by the progress made during that time,” said Greg Pfundstein, president of the Chiaroscuro Foundation. “We will continue to work with community leaders, churches, and organization who share our concern about this problem and to help women facing unplanned pregnancies find the support they need in their communities.”
Of the 197,046 viable pregnancies in New York City in 2012, 73,815 were aborted. 1,832 (2.48%) of the abortions performed in New York City were on babies at a gestational age of 21 weeks or later.
The abortion ratio citywide fell to just over 37% in 2012–a record low since 1970 when abortion was legalized in New York. Despite an overall reduction in abortions, some areas–primarily minority or low income neighborhoods-continue to experience a disproportionate number of abortions. “We were pleased with the progress, but we still have a long way to go, especially in meeting the needs of poor and minority women,” said Molly O’Connor, communications director of the Chiaroscuro Foundation.
Posting on the Facebook account of New York State Right to Life, Meara explained that there were numerous reasons for the city’s dropping abortion rate. They included “the publicity and the education we’ve done on the Women’s Equality Act,” pro-abortion Governor Andrew Cuomo’s radical proposal to permit late abortions performed outside hospital settings, and allow non-physicians to perform abortions (among other provisions).
Meara told Ben Johnson that protective abortion laws passed in other states had an impact on women in New York, and nationwide. “All across the country we’ve been passing pro-life bills on parental notification, pain capable unborn child protection bills, requiring ultrasounds so that young women see their babies before they kill them,” she said. “I think the publicity from all of these things comes together to make people think more carefully about what they’re doing.”
As reported in NRL News Today, the latest Guttmacher report for 2011 estimates that there were about 1.06 million abortions, a drop of 13% since 2008 and 550,000 fewer abortions than the highest figure of 1.6 million in 1990. The abortion ratio for the entire nation (which Guttmacher calculates in a slightly different manner than does the CDC) was 21.2 per 100 pregnancies ending in live birth or abortion