Study: African-American teen abortion rates reach twice national average


Scott Greer Contributor
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African-American teenage abortion rates are more than twice as high as the national average, according to a new study.

The African-American abortion rate, according to the study conducted by the Guttmacher Institute, is 41 per 1,000 women among the 15-19 year old age group. The national average abortion rate is 18 per 1,000 women among 15-19-year-olds.

The rate is also four times higher than the teen abortion rate among non-Hispanic whites, which sits at 10 per 1,000 women, and twice as high as the Hispanic rate of 20 per 1,000.

The state-by-state study also reveals that in states with high abortion rates, teen pregnancy among African-Americans has the greatest chance of resulting in an abortion than it does in any other racial group.

In New York, for example, pregnancies among black teens — excluding miscarriages — result in abortion 67 percent of the time. New York has the highest teen abortion rate in the country, according to the study.

Another study shows that the number has been nearly halved since the recorded high of 80 per 1,000 in 1990. But the percentage of pregnancies that result in abortion among black teenagers has stayed nearly the same, with a 42 percent ratio in 1990, and a 40 percent ratio in 2008.

Another recent study, also from the Guttmacher Institute, revealed that black women account for 30 percent of all abortions, despite African-Americans making up only 13 percent of the total population.

Rachel Jones, a senior research associate at the Guttmacher Institute, said that there has not been a study that has found the direct cause for the high abortion rate among black teenagers.

“There’s no definitive research that’s actually been able to answer that question. We just do know that African-American women, including African-American teenagers, just have more pregnancies,” Jones stated.

Jones indicated that poverty and a lack of attention given teenagers at high risk for teen pregnancy could be potential causes for the high abortion rates among African-American teens.

The figures that were analyzed by the Guttmacher Institute are from the year 2008, which is the most recently available data.

Tags : abortion
Scott Greer