By Mary DeTurris Poust
Sobering. Chilling. Horrifying. There's really no other way to describe the statistics just released by the Health Department: 41 percent of all pregnancies in New York City end in abortion. That's right. You didn't read it wrong. Forty. One. Percent. And, in the case of minorities, the figure jumps to 60 percent. More than half of all minority babies in New York City were aborted in 2009. If that doesn't make people stand up and take notice, I don't know what will.
At a press conference yesterday, religious leaders from the city banded together to demand answers. Here's some of what happened, according to a story in the N.Y. Sun:
“The Statue of Liberty should be the symbol of this city, not the grim reaper,” declared the current archbishop of the Archdiocese of New York, the Most Rev. Timothy Dolan.
The press conference drew leaders of the Catholic archdiocese, which has traditionally played a leading role in the pro-life movement, and a range of oher leaders, including the executive president of the Agudath Israel of America, Rabbi David Zweibel, whose organization represents fervently orthodox Jews and is affiliated with the Council of Torah Sages; the Reverend Michael Faulkner, founder of the New Horizon Church in Harlem; and Leslie Diaz, spokeswoman of Democrats for Life.
The group noted that the abortion statistics point to a startling trend: older women utilize easily available abortion services as one of many birth control options open to them. Abortion, it seems, is no longer just the scourge of the frightened teenage mother. Just 10% of all pregnancies in New York City were with teen-age mothers. That age group accounted for 16% of abortions citywide in 2009. But more than half the abortions were with women in their 20s, with another 30% of abortions among women in their 30s and 40s. Nearly 15% of abortions were performed on married women.
New York City's abortion rate is nearly twice the national average. What's to account for it? Certainly not lack of reproductive services. Clearly city-mandated sex ed and free condoms in public schools haven't helped, as people have been led to believe they would. In fact, it would seem that abortion has become the birth control of choice for some.
More from the N.Y. Sun:
“We’ve been hearing for many years from pro-choice supporters that abortion should be made safe, legal, and rare. If that’s the goal, we’ve clearly, abysmally failed, especially here in New York City,” Rabbi Zwiebel said.
More alarming still, say the religious leaders, are the abortion rates among certain groups. In 2009, far more African-American women had abortions (40,798) than births (27,405) for an abortion rate of 60%. Among non-Hispanic black teen-agers, there were 2,791 abortions for every 1,000 live births in 2009 — a 74% abortion rate.
“The leading cause of death among African Americans is abortion, and … New York City has the highest abortion rates in the world,” Reverend Faulkner said.
For more, watch the video above, which features Archbishop Dolan, although you'll have to deal with the opposing side insisting that what's needed is more of the same. You've been warned.