Give thanks, then work even harder

Published on November 26th, 2012

by Kathleen M. Gallagher

I opened the newspaper on Thanksgiving morning to read that the US abortion rate had dropped by 5%, the largest single-year decrease in a decade, according to the CDC. The abortion numbers, rates and ratios all decreased. Truly, something for which we give thanks! Less abortion = less women harmed, less children destroyed, less families shattered.

Of course, the CDC statistics are surveying a drop from 2008 to 2009, not exactly current numbers. Here in New York State, our numbers are a bit more up-to-date (2010), and, praise God, we also see a continued decrease in abortions from year to year.

But the New York numbers are still out of control and way out of line.  The CDC reports the national abortion ratio at 227 abortions per 1,000 live births. Sadly, New York is at 458 abortions per 1,000 live births, with some counties (like the Bronx at 885 abortions per 1,000 live births) recording breathtakingly unacceptable ratios. And when you consider that many abortions go unreported, especially at unlicensed clinics, the numbers are likely higher.

Today’s newspaper reports that the American Academy of Pediatrics’ now recommends that all adolescents be counseled about the availability and use of emergency contraception such as Plan B. Sorry, doctors. I fear such a policy will be moving the abortion numbers in the wrong direction, as study after study confirms that greater access to contraception, (particularly emergency contraception,) does not reduce unintended pregnancies or abortions (See this fact sheet.)

Nope, it’s going to take a bit more work than just telling kids where to get pills. We need to rededicate ourselves to educating young people about the awesome gift of human sexuality, the importance of self-respect, the wonder of creation and the value of each and every unrepeatable human life.

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