In most of the United States, 24 abortions are carried out for every 100 live births. In New York, 72 abortions occur for every 100 live births.
The continuing boom in abortions–90,157 were performed in the city in 2006, the last year for which statistics are available–apparently means that many women are using abortion as their birth control method of choice. That concerns health advocates, who point out that the procedure sometimes causes complications and is more expensive than contraception. The high rate also shows that these women are not protected against AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.
“No doctor would ever tell a woman that abortion was one of the choices she should rely on for contraception,” says Iffath Hoskins, chief of obstetrics and gynecology at Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn.
The high rate is especially troubling because it indicates that more city residents are turning to abortion. Years ago, most abortions in the city–up to two-thirds in some years–were performed on women from out of town who flocked to New York because of its liberal abortion policies. Now, however, 93% of the abortions in New York City are performed on city residents.
The easy availability of abortion and not enough access to affordable contraception may be reasons behind the city’s high abortion rate. An average of 250 abortions are performed in the city each day at more than 200 clinics and doctor’s offices. And even though free or low-cost contraception is offered through 59 publicly funded programs at 218 sites in New York state, mostly in New York City, more could be provided, says Deborah Kaplan, deputy commissioner of the city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
“To me, the problem is access,” says Ms. Kaplan. “If we improved access to contraceptives, there would be a reduction in abortion.”
"I keep pouring gas on the fire and it keeps getting bigger. If only I had more gas."
The question for pro-choicers is why is a high rate of abortion troubling anyway? If it really is a morally neutral act than it doesn’t matter if there is one or one thousand. So what if it is a backup-contraceptive?
That would be good news to taxpayers. In a time of fiscal constraints, abortion is costing the state at least $16 million in Medicaid spending annually, and city taxpayers still more through a city Health and Hospitals Corp. policy that provides free abortions to poor women at its facilities. The surgical costs alone are between $1,000 and $1,800 per abortion, compared with the $425 average annual cost for birth control pills.
Whatever you subsidize you get more of.
But the biggest concern over the high abortion rate is the impact it is having on women’s health.
Most health experts agree that it is wise to keep abortion safe, legal and available in New York, but some are also concerned that too many women are not using other methods to prevent unwanted births.
Surgical abortion always carries risks, though slight, of complications–including ones that can tear or scar the uterus and compromise a woman’s ability to have healthy children in the future, Dr. Hoskins says.
What there are risks? How did did that make it into the aritcle, must be a mistake by the editors..Next we have one of the strangest bits of logic I have seen.
It may be especially difficult for black women in communities where men are scarce, due to incarceration or addiction problems, to insist that their partners use condoms.
Yes scarce men cause pregnancies.