Teen abortion rate at lowest since Roe v. Wade


By Dave Andrusko

downwardtrendOn Tuesday, after we have a chance to investigate more thoroughly, we will delve further into the conclusion of the Guttmacher Institute that teenage pregnancy, birth, and abortions are at “historic lows.”

“U.S. Teenage Pregnancies, Births and Abortions, 2010: National and State Trends by Age, Race and Ethnicity,” is written by Kathryn Kost and Stanley Henshaw. For purposes of this report, teenagers were defined as ages 15-19.

“The 2010 teenage abortion rate was 14.7 abortions per 1,000 women,” they conclude. “This figure is the lowest since abortion was legalize and 66% lower than its peak in 1988 (43.5/1,000 women).”

Unfortunately, that decrease was not uniform across among ethnic groups. For Hispanic teenagers the abortion rate (15.3) is almost twice that of non-Hispanic whites (8.5), while the rate for black teenagers (34.5) is almost four times as high as non-Hispanic whites.

Incredibly, however, in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut more than half of teenage pregnancies ended in abortion.

What about those state who had experienced the most success? Writing for the National Journal, Sophie Novack put the worst possible interpretation on those states with the greatest decline in teen abortions.

“[T]he states with the lowest proportions of teen pregnancies ending in abortion tended to be states that now have the most restrictive anti-abortion legislation: South Dakota, Kansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Utah, Arkansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, and Texas. In each of these states, less than 15 percent of teen pregnancies ended in abortions.”

Guttmacher, which is pro-abortion, offers the customary pro-abortion explanation: more contraceptive use.

But as the breakdown of the states above clearly demonstrates, those states with legislation that educates and informs women—and typically includes some form of parental involvement—lead the way in fewer and few teen abortions.