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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Abortion Rates Have Fallen in Massachusetts

There has been a misconception about how much organizations like Planned Parenthood spend on abortions. While this may be a shock to many, only three percent of their budget goes to abortion services. Even as the debates about Planned Parenthood intensify, abortion rates continue to decline.
Abortion rates in Massachusetts have decreased by 11 percent since 2010. They decreased from 20,802  in 2010 to 18,570 in 2015 according, to the Associated Press’ review of the most recent Massachusetts Department of Public Health Statistics.
Abortion rates are not only declining in Massachusetts; it seems to be on a decline nationwide. A report which was released in November by the federal Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that the abortion rate for the year 2013 was 12.5 abortions per 1,000 women in the age group 15-44—this also shows a decrease of five percent from 2012 and is half the number of abortions that were reported in 1980. 
In a more recent survey, the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights, found that the annual number of abortions in the US fell below 1 million in 2014, the lowest since 1974.
Even though abortion rates have been decreasing, politicians are still adamant and have successfully voted to defund Planned Parenthood because they believe a majority of their budget goes towards abortion services—this is in fact the opposite.
Jennifer Childs-Roshak, the CEO and president of Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, expressed that the decrease in abortions is at times overlooked in political debates. She noted that better access to birth control, reliable birth control, and better sex education are instrumental to the declining abortion rates. She credits the 2010 healthcare law that was signed by President Barack Obama—The Affordable Care Act—which classified birth control as a preventative service. She divulged, “When you make it easy for women to use birth control, they use it and it works.”
Jennifer Childs-Roshak isn’t the only one who credits more access to things like sex education and contraceptives for the decreasing abortion rates. Anne Fox, the Massachusetts Citizens for Life president, credited the decrease in abortions to efforts made by her group. These include social media campaigns, a quarterly magazine, and educational programs that are targeted to high-school students and others.
She stated, “It absolutely is happening, we’re thrilled, and we absolutely believe our education efforts are making a difference… our goal is to educate everyone so there isn’t a need to go to the door of a clinic.”
In the United States Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, decided in 1973, the right to abortion was permitted nationwide. Since then, Planned Parenthood has remained at the center of most of the abortion debates, because more than 57 percent of the abortions performed in our state in 2015 were performed at Planned Parenthood clinics.
Massachusetts abortion statistics for the year 2015 showed the following:

  • close to 77 percent of abortions were obtained by women between the ages of 20 and 34.
  • 71 percent of abortions were performed in the first eight weeks of pregnancy
  • only 15 were performed at 24 weeks of pregnancy or later
  • more than 74 percent of abortions were obtained by unmarried women
  • 46 percent of the women obtaining abortions were white, 16 percent were black, about 13 percent were Hispanic, and 6 percent were Asian
  • half of the abortions were first-time abortions, 25 percent of the women had one previous abortion, and 9 percent had three or more prior abortions

Republican Governor Charlie Baker promised that his administration is prepared to increase state assistance for Planned Parenthood if Congress decides to block Medicaid funding for it.