New York teens have higher abortion rates than any other state in the nation.
With 41 teenagers per 1,000 — nearly 27,000 — receiving abortions in 2005, New York surpassed New Jersey’s top rank from 2000, according to a report released yesterday by the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive rights think tank. New York ranked 11th in teen pregnancy rates.
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“New York has had high rates of abortion for a long time,” noted Elizabeth Nash, of Guttmacher. “The demographic makeup in New York probably plays a role. There are significant populations of African-Americans and Latinos. Both groups tend to have higher rates of pregnancy and abortion.”
Policy is also a factor: New York does not require parental consent and has no 24-hour waiting period.
“There are fewer obstacles,” said Dr. Karen Soren, director of adolescent health services at New York-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital.
She was concerned about rising pregnancy rates. Abstinence-only education may play a role, Soren said, but added a “complacency” has set in among teens and young adults now that HIV/AIDS is considered a chronic disease rather than death sentence.