Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Abortion Rates Stop Falling, Reports Guttmacher

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The abortion rate in the United States, which had been falling steadily since its high in the early 1980s, has stalled over the past several years, according the Guttmacher Institute, the research arm for America’s leading abortion provider Planned Parenthood. According to Guttmacher’s latest study, the abortion rate remained largely static between 2005 and 2008 at slightly less than 20 abortions per 1,000 women, down from a high in 1981 of more than 29 abortions per 1,000 women.

Experts said that one explanation for the stalled numbers may be the economy, noting that when money is tight women are more prone to end a pregnancy through abortion.”Abortion numbers go down when the economy is good and go up when the economy is bad, so the stalling may be a function of a weaker economy,” explained political science professor Michael New of the University of Alabama.”If the economy does better, you’ll see numbers trending down again.”

Rachel Jones, author of the Guttmacher study, told the New York Times that unintended pregnancy ”is increasingly concentrated among poor and low-income women, and for the 2008 survey, we were collecting data in the midst of a recession. So there are more poor women in the survey, women who in better economic times might have decided to carry to term, but since they or their partner lost their job, decided they couldn’t.”

The latest statistics indicate that about 17 percent of all the abortions in 2008 came via prescriptions like the abortion drug RU-486. Jones said that trend was good news, noting that ”government reports have shown that abortions are increasingly occurring earlier in pregnancy, when the procedure is safest. Increased access to medication abortion is helping to accelerate that trend.”

But Randall O’Bannon of National Right to Life told the Times that while drugs like RU-486 eliminate the surgical implications that repel many women, they are sill rife with consequences and risks. ”Women were uncomfortable with the idea of surgical abortion,” O’Bannon explained.”They didn’t like the idea of scraping, the gross stuff. So the abortion industry comes along and says, ‘Now it’s just a matter of popping a pill.’ But the truth is it’s nothing like that. There’s lots of side effects.”

He also noted how abortion drugs add to the bottom line of groups like Planned Parenthood.”RU-486 not only goes after a whole new customer base with the false promise of an easy, safe alternative to surgical abortion,” he said in a National Right to Life press release,”but its increased use lets the abortion industry shift to a method that requires less overhead to administer, thereby adding to their ever-increasing bottom line. With the median cost of $490 that Guttmacher found for a chemical abortion, the new method represents more than $97.5 million in gross revenues for an industry already making hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Dr. Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life, said that the latest numbers are not a surprise to her, given the abortion industry’s increasing use of abortion drugs. ”Planned Parenthood has an aggressively pro-abortion business model, marketing chemical abortions and opening ‘mega clinics’ in low-income communities,” she said.”That’s a deadly one-two punch.”

Sharon Camp, president of the Guttmacher Institute, used her organization’s latest study to attack the efforts of individuals and organizations working to put a stop to abortion, declaring that in a time of”heightened politicization around abortion, our stalled progress should be an urgent message to policymakers that we need to do more to increase access to contraceptive services to prevent unintended pregnancy, while ensuring access to abortion services for the many women who still need them.”

But with the recent influx of congressmen who have promised to back pro-life legislation, Camp’s pro-abortion preaching is likely to fall on deaf ears in Congress. As reported on this site, a number of legislators have promised to champion pro-life measures, particularly those that would de-fund groups like Planned Parenthood that receives millions of dollars in tax funding. For example, Representative Chris Smith (R-N.J) is expected to co-sponsor the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, which would include a total federal prohibition of abortion funding.

On January 7 another pro-life congressman, Representative Mike Pence (R-Ind.), followed through on a campaign promise by filing the Title 10 Abortion Provider Prohibition Act, which would ensure that taxpayer money authorized by the federal government for family planning won’t go to groups like Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood reported that last year it netted more than $363 million in funding from government grants and contracts, while at the same time its affiliates performed a total of 324,008 abortions — a nearly six percent increase from the previous year’s record high.

“It is morally wrong to end an unborn human life by abortion,” said Pence as he introduced the bill on the House floor.”It is also morally wrong to take the taxpayer dollars of millions of pro-life Americans and use them to promote abortion at home or abroad.”

According to LifeNews.com, "More than 122 members of the House have signed on as co-sponsors of the legislation and pro-life groups are already on board pledging to pull out all the stops to get the bill through the House and give pro-life senators a chance to try to get a vote or attach it to other legislation.”

 

A Correction, with apologies to the Guttmacher Institute:

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In reference to the above article "Abortion Rates Stop Falling, Reports Abortion Group," Joerg Dreweke, a communications associate with the Guttmacher Institute, informed us that the article incorrectly identified his organization as the "research arm for America's leading abortion provider Planned Parenthood."

Upon further research we confirmed that while the Guttmacher Institute began in 1968 as a division of Planned Parenthood, in 1977 the group was divested. It is no longer officially connected to Planned Parenthood. The institute became the de facto research department of the entire abortion-contraceptive industry — as well as its unabashed promoter.

The author apologizes for the misstatement.

Photo: A 10-week-old fetus removed via a "therapeutic abortion."