The startling results of the latest survey on abortion in the United States show that women die of legal abortions in the U.S., and that abortion varies along racial lines, with three times more black babies being aborted than white babies. The survey also reports that almost half of all women who obtain abortions have obtained multiple abortions, with almost 17 percent of these women undergoing their fourth abortions in some regions.
The new study, reporting legal induced abortions obtained in the United States in the year 2000, was released by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) the day after Thanksgiving 2003.
“The survey contains some eye-opening findings you will not likely read in the mainstream press,” says Cathy Cleaver Ruse, Esq., the director of planning and information for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities.
Cluse reports on some of the most striking findings by the CDC on the USCCB Web site. The highest number of reported legal induced abortions in 2000 occurred in New York City: 94,466. Florida and Texas had the second and third highest abortion numbers, 88,563 and 76,121 respectively. “California likely ranks among the top, but they won't tell,” she says.
Cluse points out that the survey includes data which is voluntarily reported by cities and states, and that some states don't report at all, making it impossible to have an accurate national picture.
For example, California, which in 1997 was responsible for 23 percent of all abortions nationwide, decided in 1998 to stop reporting on the number of abortions performed there, as did New Hampshire and Alaska, Cluse points out.
A startling fact in the report is legal abortions do not prevent women’s deaths. Fourteen women died as a result of complications from known legal induced abortion in 1998 and 1999. Data on deaths from 2000 is not yet available. “In fact, from 1973 to 1999, at least 327 women have died from legal induced abortion according to the study,” reports Cluse.
Abortion rates also change along racial lines. The CDC reported that "the abortion rate for black women was 3.1 times the rate for white women." In addition, "the abortion ratio for black women (503 per 1,000 per live births) was 3.0 times the ratio for white women (167 per 1,000 live births)."
“This means that black babies are aborted three times more frequently than white babies are,” explains Cluse.
Cluse also points out that “multiple abortions are the norm, not the exception.” According to the survey, 53 percent of women had an abortion for the first time in 2000. “That means 47 percent of women having abortions in 2000 were not having their first abortion,” she says.
In 2000, Maryland had the highest percentage of women having their fourth (or more) abortion: 16.7 percent. New York City had the second highest ratio, with 14.7 percent of women having at least their fourth abortion in 2000.
“What is lacking from the survey is any indication why these abortions occurred,” writes Cluse. “The report states simply that they were elective procedures.
“The abortion lobby dismisses the question of why, insisting that "who decides?" is all that matters. But ‘why’ does matter very much,” she continues. “Why did each of these women wake up one morning, get into a car or a cab, and take that fateful drive? This is perhaps the most important question of all.”
To read the full report, go to www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/drh/surv_abort.htm.