A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that 18 percent of all pregnancies in the United States end in abortion, a finding CDC describes as a new “low.” The agency encourages the use of more effective contraceptives to further decrease the number of abortions.
The report, titled “Abortion Surveillance – United States, 2011,” finds that 730,322 abortions — or 18 percent of all pregnancies — were performed in 2011, with most on unmarried women. While the number of abortions overall has decreased through approximately the past decade, the abortion rate and percentage of abortions accounted for by older women has actually increased.
CDC provides the following data analysis for 46 areas in the country that have reported on abortions each year from 2002 through 2011:
Among these same 46 reporting areas, the abortion rate for 2011 was 13.9 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44 years, and the abortion ratio was 219 abortions per 1,000 live births. From 2010 to 2011, the total number and rate of reported abortions decreased 5% and the abortion ratio decreased 4%, and from 2002 to 2011, the total number, rate, and ratio of reported abortions decreased 13%, 14%, and 12%, respectively. In 2011, all three measures reached their lowest level for the entire period of analysis (2002-2011).
CDC also reports that 10 women died as a result of “legal induced abortions,” in 2010, the most recent year for which these data are available, and states no deaths were reported to have been associated with illegal induced abortions.
“Unintended pregnancy is the major contributor to abortion,” CDC goes on to say, and endorses education in increased use of “the most effective methods of contraception” to further reduce the number of abortions.
“Providing women and men with the knowledge and resources necessary to make decisions about their sexual behavior and use of contraception can help them avoid unintended pregnancies,” the agency states. “However, efforts to improve contraceptive use and reduce the number of unintended pregnancies in the United States have been challenging.”
CDC claims the use of intrauterine devices (IUDs), hormonal implants, and sterilization are the most effective means of preventing pregnancy and, in its view, abortion as well.
Regarding the CDC report, Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, told Breitbart News, “The decrease in the rate, ratio, and absolute numbers of abortions is, of course, always good news, except for those who are marketing and selling them.”
“Two initial observations worth noting, of course, are that the actual numbers of surgical abortions are always much higher than what the CDC reports, simply because their method of collecting the data is passive, and some states – like the mega-abortion state of California – do not report,” he continued. “On the other hand, the numbers coming from the Alan Guttmacher Institute are closer to the reality.”
“Second, when the CDC suggests that ‘education’ helps account for the lower numbers,” Pavone added, “let’s keep in mind that an aspect of such education is a greater awareness that abortion is in fact the killing of a child, a greater awareness that abortion does in fact harm women in multiple ways, and a greater awareness that there are alternatives to abortion.”
In a statement to Breitbart News, Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America (SFLA), said, “While the CDC cheers the fact that abortions are down from previous years, the sobering reality is that over 730,000 innocent lives — more likely closer to one million since California, the nation’s most populous state was not included in the report — were taken in 2011.”
“Over half of all abortions were obtained by women in their 20s. These women need to know that there are other options besides abortion,” Hawkins added. “We need to work harder to surround these women with compassion and love and make sure they have the resources they need to choose life for their child.”
On Tuesday, SFLA launched a new website for its pregnancy resource program for college students titled Pregnant on Campus. The website is specifically designed to assist students in finding pregnancy and parenting resources on individual college campuses. It also utilizes crowd sourcing and surveying of students and administrators to help post pregnancy resources on the site.
Regarding her organization’s new resource website, Hawkins told Breitbart News, “Over half of abortions are done on women under the age of 25 and many of these students have no idea about the resources available to them on their college campuses to help them stay in school and parent their children.”
“Instead of running to the nearest Planned Parenthood, this website will help pregnant women find resources that are available on their campus right now,” she added.
“Even one abortion is a tragedy,” Hawkins said regarding the CDC report. “To celebrate that nearly a million lives were taken is to show a complete and utter disregard for life.”