NEW YORK—Abortions are on the decline in the United States, though numbers remain shockingly high in New York City, according to a CDC report released over Thanksgiving.
The study used voluntary data from 44 states, New York City, and the District of Columbia. The states not included in the study didn't provide data for each of the ten years.
From 2001 to 2010, the number of reported legal abortions in the United States fell by 9 percent. The number of teenagers getting abortions dropped most significantly, probably due in part to the overall drop in teenage pregnancies. For that 10-year period, the abortion rate among teenagers fell about 30 percent.
The number of abortions in New York City alone remains incredibly high: 83,750 in 2010. That amounts to 694 abortions for every 1,000 live births. No other jurisdiction approaches that high of an abortion ratio. Other city health reports have shown that almost 40 percent of pregnancies in New York end in abortion. Most shocking in the CDC's New York numbers: 82 percent of abortions in the city were performed on African-American or Hispanic women.
The authors noted that the CDC numbers, because they are voluntary, significantly underreport abortions compared to the more fully researched Guttmacher Institute studies. For 2008, the CDC reported 825,564 abortions while Guttmacher reported 1.21 million abortions. But the CDC trends are still meaningful.
The CDC released another report today compiled from its own data as well as outside sources like Guttmacher that shows the abortion rate has fallen 32 percent since 1990.