The Federal Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”) released a report on the eve of Thanksgiving showing that there was an historic drop of five percent in the abortion rate, the most in a decade. The data is from 2009, the latest year available, and shows that there were only 789,000 abortions. Whether because of the recession or other factors, women might be more careful about getting pregnant. However, the CDC notes in its analysis that changes in state laws contributed to the decline in the number and rate of abortion. These changes include clinic regulations that hold abortion providers to acceptable standards of care.
Given the report’s release date, pro-life advocacy group Americans United for Life President and CEO, Dr. Charmaine Yoest, called the news in the CDC report “a real cause for giving thanks.”
Interestingly, and for obvious political reasons, reporting of abortions to the CDC is voluntary, and then some states do not report abortion details to the CDC at all. Among them is California, which has both the largest number of abortions and the largest number of abortion providers. Thus, both the CDC and other experts believe that there are still more than one million abortions performed annually in the United States. (It is interesting to ask why reporting of abortions to the CDC is not mandatory, and further, why the just-published data is almost four years old. Is there really a shortage of federal and state bureaucrats to tally the number of abortions?) There is other interesting data from the CDC report, available here:
Approximately 85 percent of women who aborted their babies were unmarried. The majority of abortions are performed by the eighth week of pregnancy. White women had the lowest abortion rate, at about 8.5 per 1,000 women of child-bearing age; the rate for African-American women was about four times that; and the abortion rate for Hispanic women was about 19 per 1,000. While the abortion rate is shockingly high among African-American women, to put some perspective on the number of abortions, the Tuskegee Institute has recorded that 3,446 blacks and 1,297 whites were lynched between 1882 and 1968. Not annually, but in total.
Further, deeply buried in the last table in the report, the number of abortion-related maternal fatalities doubled in 2008. Dr. Yoest observed: “The CDC report documents the death of twelve women following their abortion. That number is double the deaths reported the previous year and it’s the highest since 1994. The news from this [CDC] report is that abortion harms women, as well as their babies.” Indeed it does, and the American Holocaust continues. But the good news is that we can hopefully expect further decreases in the coming years, even as the Obama administration continues to accelerate its war on women and their babies. In 2009, close to sixty pro-life laws were enacted in various states, which is a marked increase from 2008. To save the lives of women and their babies, please keep the pressure on your local legislatures. Yes, as Dr. Yoest observed, the CDC report is a cause for giving thanks.