Study: Teen Abortion, Pregnancy Rates Fall to Record Lows

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 8, 2012   |   6:30PM   |   Washington, DC

A new study released by a pro-abortion organization that is the former research arm of the Planned Parenthood abortion business says teen abortion and pregnancy rates both fell in 2008 to new record lows.

“Teen pregnancies have declined dramatically in the United States since their peak in the early 1990s, as have the births and abortions that result; in 2008, teen pregnancies reached their lowest level in nearly 40 years,” the Guttmacher Institute said today.

They noted: “In 2008, the teen pregnancy rate was 67.8 pregnancies per 1,000 women aged 15–19, which means that about 7% of U.S. teens became pregnant that year. This rate represents a 42% decline from the peak in 1990 (116.9 per 1,000). Similarly, the birthrate declined 35% between 1991 and 2008, from 61.8 to 40.2 births per 1,000 teens; the abortion rate declined 59% from its 1988 peak of 43.5 abortions per 1,000 teens to its 2008 level of 17.8 per 1,000.”

Despite the reductions in pregnancy, birth and abortion rates among all racial and ethnic groups, the pro-abortion researchers said disparities between black, white and Hispanic teens persist.

“After peaking in the early 1990s, the teen pregnancy rate dropped by 37% among Hispanics, 48% among blacks and 50% among non-Hispanic whites; yet the rates among black and Hispanic teens remain 2–3 times as high as that of non-Hispanic white teen,” Kathryn Kost and Stanley Henshaw noted. “There were also considerable disparities in birth and abortion rates. The birthrates in 2008 among black and Hispanic teens, as well as Hispanic teens’ abortion rate, were twice the rates among whites; the abortion rate for black teens was four times that of whites.”

“The recent declines in teen pregnancy rates are great news.” says lead author Kathryn Kost. “However, the continued inequities among racial and ethnic minorities are cause for concern.”

The ethnic disparities are not surprising given the disparities that exist in New York City, the nation’s most populated city.

More than 83,000 abortions were performed in New York City in 2010 — making it so 40 percent of all pregnancies in the nation’s largest city end in abortion. That’s virtually unchanged from the 41 percent that ended in abortion in 2009, according to the city health department.

According to the most recent statistics, just made available by the New York City Department of Health: Among non-Hispanic blacks there were far more abortions than births, 38,574 to 26,635, or 60%.   So for every 1,000 African-American babies born, 1,448 were aborted. Among Non-Hispanic black teens, the abortion rate was even greater – 5,956 abortions to 2,265 live births, or 72%.  For every 1,000 African-American babies born to teens, 2,630 were aborted.

The authors said the rates would be lowered if contraception was promoted further even though the Guttmacher Institute’s own research shows 54 percent of women having abortions were using birth control or contraception at the time of their abortion.

That Guttmacher report shows “54 percent of women who have abortions had used a contraceptive method *usually condom or the pill) during the month they became pregnant.” These figures are similar to those of a report in Spain showing abortions doubling despite increased family planning promotion. And, of the women who say they did not intend to become pregnant, the report said “most of these women have practiced contraception in the past.”

The reasons women give for having an abortion are birth control in nature. Asked to check off a list with more than one reason, 75 percent say they can’t afford to have a baby, 75 percent say having a baby would interfere with work or school, and half say they don’t want to become a single parent or have issues of having a child with their husband or partner.