NEW YORK — The long-term decline in the U.S. abortion rate stalled as the recession took hold, according to the latest comprehensive survey of America’s abortion providers.
The Guttmacher Institute, which periodically surveys U.S. abortion providers, reported Tuesday that there were 1.21 million abortions in 2008 and a rate of 19.6 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44.
Both figures were up slightly from the previous 2005 survey, ending a steady decline since 1990, when U.S. abortions peaked at 1.6 million and the abortion rate was 27.4.
While comprehensive data are hard to come by, official figures show abortions are increasing, and Chinese media and experts say many, if not most, of the abortion-seekers are young, single women.
That’s a change from the past, when abortion was used mainly to enforce the government’s one child per couple limit. Today, students are clearly a client base: The Beijing Modern Women’s Hospital offers a government-subsidized “Safe & Easy A+” discount abortion package at 880 yuan ($130). Others advertise in college handbooks.
According to a government tally, 9.2 million abortions were performed in 2008, up from 7.6 million in 2007. But the count only includes hospitals, and state media report the total could be as high as 13 million. If accurate, that would give China among the highest abortion rates in the world.
Nobody with their heart in the right place can be happy to read these stories. What horrible, senseless waste of human potential. If we cared half as much about the lives of those mothers and babies as we care about the lives of spotted owls and bald eagles, the world would be a much better place.by