New York City's Abortion Rate Plunges

Monday, 17 Feb 2014 09:15 AM

By Drew MacKenzie

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The abortion rate in New York City has plunged to its lowest level since the procedure became legal in 1970, echoing the drop in the number of abortions nationwide.

The New York Post reports that new city Health Department figures show that there were 197,046 pregnancies in 2012 and 73,815 of them, or about 37 percent, ended in “induced terminations.”

The rate dropped 8.6 percent from 2011, and it has plunged 19 percent since 2003 and 22 percent since 2000, according to the figures.

But the city’s abortion rate is still well above the national average, which dropped to its lowest point since the Supreme Court legalized the procedure in all 50 states in its landmark Rose vs. Wade decision, the Washington Post reported.

Nationwide, there were fewer than 17 abortions for every 1,000 women in 2011, according to research released last month from the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion-rights think tank. The figure has fallen 13 percent from 2008, but is still slightly higher than in 1973

Greg Pfundstein, president of the conservative Chiaroscuro Foundation, an opponent of abortion, was thrilled with the plummeting rate of unwanted pregnancies in New York City.

“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 during that time,” he said.

According to the New York City Health Department’s Vital Statistics report in 2012, there’s been a sharp drop in the number of teenage girls getting pregnant, sinking to a new low of 23.6 births per 1,000. That’s a noticeable change from the 25.8 births per 1,000 in 2011. The birth rate for teenagers has also fallen by 33 percent since 2003.

The department said, “Increased use of the most effective contraceptive methods — IUDs and contraceptive implants — has likely contributed to this significant decline. IUDs and implants are 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy.”

And Assembly Health Committee Chairman Richard Gottfried said that there’s been “more acceptance of sex education and responsible use of contraceptives” by young women in the city.

Nationwide, researchers at the Guttmacher Institute also said that the reason for the decline in the abortion rate across the country can partially be attributed to new kinds of birth control, including intra-uterine devices such as Mirena, which can last for years and are not susceptible to user error like daily pills or condoms, says the Post.

The institute, which recorded figures through 2011, also said that a possible factor was that people tend to be more careful during difficult economic times.

According to the Washington Post, the abortion rate could plummet even further in the future because state legislatures have enacted more laws restricting access to abortions in the last three years than they did in the previous decade.

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