The latest figures from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention have revealed a staggering reality — that in 2014, one third of pregnancies in New York City were ended in abortion.
The report, released by the CDC just after Thanksgiving, indicates that a total of 67,620 abortions were performed in New York City, compared to approximately 117,620 births, giving the city the highest abortion rate in the nation.
Despite these staggering numbers in New York City, the nation’s abortion rates have fallen to an all-time low, dropping from 664,435 in 2013 to 652,639 in 2014 (these are the latest numbers available).
Many are attributing the overall decline in abortion rates to access to contraceptive methods, like hormonal birth controls and condoms. However, another likely cause is an increase in resources for women who would have otherwise considered abortion.
And by resources I don’t mean contraceptives. Instead, I’m talking actual resources like diapers and free medical services and so on. These resources are provided by community health centers and pregnancy centers.
The pro-choice movement spends a lot of time bashing these centers; However, they are actually filling a need that many won’t step in to fill. The fact that 64% of women who have had abortions felt pressured by others to abort, means there is a need for communities to come around these women and give them the support they are lacking elsewhere.
The decrease doesn’t account for all demographics however, with abortions among African Americans having increased in recent years. This increase brings up a fair question — “Why don’t these women have access to these helpful resources?”
There are a concentrated amount of Planned Parenthoods in Black communities, and it’s clear that the resources provided at those clinics aren’t the ones that are empowering women who become pregnant. What these communities truly need is the care, love, and support that one finds within the doors of a pregnancy center.
So if we, as a culture, are fighting for female empowerment and choice, we need to celebrate the resources that truly empower women to make the choice they want to make–the choice for life–and celebrate the pregnancy centers that provide them.