Report Shows Births to Unwed Mother Rising, Could be Good News on Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 13, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Report Shows Births to Unwed Mother Rising, Could be Good News on Abortion

by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 13
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — A new report shows the number of births to unmarried women in the United States is on the rise. However, the new Centers for Disease Control report could be good news in the abortion battle if it is an indication that unwed moms are deciding more often to keep their baby instead of having an abortion.

The CDC report indicates unmarried mothers gave birth to about 40 percent of all babies born in the U.S. in 2007. The figures show that the percentage is on the rise, which puts the U.S. in the same boat as other nations.

Decades ago, most unmarried mothers were teenagers but a cultural trend of accepting single moms appears to have given rise to the percentage who are in their 20s or 30s.

The report indicates, in 2007, women in their 20s had 60 percent of all babies born out of wedlock, teenagers had 23 percent and women 30 and older had 17 percent. The CDC says non-teen unwed mothers have increased 34 percent since 2002 for women aged 30 to 34.

While pro-family groups are concerned about children born to single-parent homes and how that affects their development and risks in later live, the report could be good news on the pro-life front.

With more women in their 20s having children, and with the 20-29 age range as having the plurality of abortions, that young women are deciding to keep their baby could mean a lower of the abortion rates.

In fact, in 2008, an Alan Guttmacher Institute report indicated the abortion rate over all was as low as it has been since Roe v. Wade in 1974.

The rise in births of children to unmarried mothers also, according to the CDC report, is a byproduct of an increase in the number of parents who are living together but are not married — a common profile in pregnancy center clients.

That is also seen more frequently in Hispanic women with unmarried births climbing 20 percent from 2002 to 2006.

Foreign countries see different statistics based on the cultural mores with 66 percent of children born to unmarried mothers in Iceland and 55 percent in Sweden but only 2 percent in Japan.

Ireland’s rate comes in at 33 percent, Canada at 30 percent, Italy at 21 percent and Britain at 44 percent.

The District of Columbia and Mississippi had the highest rates of out-of-wedlock births in 2007 at 59 percent and 54 percent respectively while the lowest rate was 20 percent in Utah.

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