The following is from the CDC’s National Vital Statistics report issued just earlier today. Quoting from the abstract will give you the gist of it:
Results—In 2008, an estimated 6,578,000 pregnancies resulted in 4,248,000 live births, 1,212,000 induced abortions, and 1,118,000 fetal losses. The 2008 pregnancy rate of 105.5 pregnancies per 1,000 women aged 15–44 is 9 percent below the 1990 peak of 115.8. The teen pregnancy rate dropped 40 percent from 1990 to 2008, reaching a historic low of 69.8 per 1,000 women aged 15–19. Pregnancy rates have declined significantly for non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, and Hispanic teenagers. Rates in 2008 for non-Hispanic black and Hispanic teenagers were two to three times higher than the rates for non-Hispanic white teenagers. Pregnancy rates for women in their early 20s declined to the lowest level in more than three decades, although the declines have been more modest than for teenagers. Pregnancy rates for women aged 25–29 have changed relatively little since 1990, while rates for women in their 30s and early 40s increased.
It looks like some educational progress is being made! The teen pregnancy rate has reached, “a historic low.” The abortion rate has dropped in every demographic. Mind you, I do know enough about statistics to know that if the pregnancy number drops then the abortion number will drop as well. However, not simply the number of abortions have dropped, but the rate (which is a different mathematical calculation) has also dropped. So, there is some good progress being made.
One figure jumped out at me and it is a figure that calls for some compassionate prayer. Look at the number of “fetal losses.” These are cases of miscarriage or spontaneous abortions. These are not induced abortions. Behind most of these losses there is at least an anguished mother, and many times an anguished father as well. As a priest, I have had to speak to couples who have lost a child for whom they were waiting. I have conducted funeral services, depending on the parents’ wishes. So, in the midst of the battle against abortion, please never forget those who experience the loss of a wanted child every year. Pray for God’s consolation for them.