New York City: Poll Finds 64% Say Too Many Abortions Occur

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 1, 2011   |   7:32PM   |   New York, NY

A new poll of residents of New York City finds 64% per New Yorkers — including 57 percent of women who say they are pro-choice on abortion — believe there are too many abortions occurring annually in the Big Apple.

The poll comes after the publication of new records from the New York City health department showing 41 percent of the pregnancies in New York City end in abortion and as the new York City council is considering legislation that would limit the ability of pregnancy centers to present women abortion alternatives.

The New York City-based Chiaroscuro Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that supports alternatives to abortion, released the poll today and it also found more than half of city residents surveyed (51%) would support a 24-hour waiting period before abortion procedures can take place.

The 53-question survey was conducted by McLaughlin & Associates within the past month and almost three-quarters of New Yorkers (74%) think too many African-American pregnancies are being aborted in the city, according to the poll, and 63% of city residents support parental consent before anyone under the age of 18 can have an abortion.

The response from New Yorkers in opposition to the high abortion rates on black unborn children is particularly poignant in light of the recent controversy surrounding Lamar Advertising’s decision to remove a large billboard in the SoHo district pointing out that abortion targets black babies.

The poll also found a majority of New Yorkers (81%) were completely unaware of New York City’s inordinately high abortion ratio of 41 percent of viable pregnancies in New York City coming to an end in abortion –  nearly twice the national average of 22%.

The Bronx has the highest abortion-to-live-births ratio with  48%, and 60% of African-American pregnancies in New York City were aborted in 2009, the most recent year for which data is available. In a 10-year period beginning in 2000, more than 900,000 pregnancies in the city ended in abortion- nearly one-eighth of the entire city population of just over 8 million. 

The Chiaroscuro Foundation is encouraging people and organizations on all sides of the abortion debate to study the and use the research to promote a reduction in abortions.

“When New Yorkers learn how many abortions are taking pace in their city every year, they are shocked,” said Greg Pfundstein, Executive Director of the Chiaroscuro Foundation. “Pro-choice and pro-life New Yorkers overwhelmingly agree that the 41% abortion ratio is too high.  That is why is the Chiaroscuro Foundation and others have been asking Mayor Bloomberg to address this as a public health crisis as serious as any other in the city. We have yet to receive a response.”

Earlier this month, the Chiaroscuro Foundation launched a citywide public awareness campaign on New York City’s 41% abortion ratio, running bus signs across the city reading: 41% of Viable Pregnancies Terminated in NYC.  We Need a New Strategy, Mr. Mayor. It has also written a letter (available here) to Mayor Bloomberg requesting public discussion on the issue.  The Foundation has not received a response.

“We fully understand that the Mayor is a pro-choice politician,” Pfundstein continued.  “But this survey shows that concern over the city’s alarming abortion ratio straddles the pro-choice and pro-life camps.  No matter how one feels about the legality of abortion, the city’s abortion ratio is a public health crisis that deserves attention.  We remain hopeful that Mayor will address it.”