NY Teen Abortion Rate: Highest In the Nation

Mar 1, 2013

Credit Parenthood and Kids

The abortion rate among teenagers in New York is the highest in the country. That's according to a report by the Guttmacher Institute.

The study shows that nearly 60% of pregnancies of those between that ages of 15 and 19 end in abortions. However, per capita, pregnancy and abortion rates have been declining over the past 20 years.

Anne LeBlanc is the president of the Rochester-Area Right to Life Committee. She claims there are several reasons that play into those figures.

"We don't have, for instance, informed consent especially for abortion like many states do," explains LeBlanc. "We don't have a 24-hour waiting period. So the women have at least 24 hours to think."

LeBlanc also claims distributing condoms in high schools would only further increase the abortion rate. Thirty-seven women in New York per 1,000 between the ages of 15 and 19 had abortions in 2008. Nationally, there were 18 abortions per 1,000 women between those same ages - which is lowest number since terminating pregnancies became legal in 1973.

LeBlanc also notes New York doesn't have a provision for parental notification in the case of a minor.

"A teenager is really on her own if her friends say don't tell your parents they'll be so mad at you," LeBlanc says. "She and her friends can go down and get an abortion without any adult who cares about her knowing."

Governor Cuomo's is pushing for expanding women's rights through is proposed Women's Equality Act. Under the provision, women would be allowed to have late-term abortions - only if the mother’s life is at risk.

New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware and Hawaii are among other states with high abortion rates. South Dakota had the lowest.