- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 22, 2009


The extent of abortion in the black community should be discussed in its proper context (“The abortionist’s eye is on us,” Opinion, Monday). High abortion rates among blacks are the result of higher rates of unintended pregnancy, which in turn reflect pervasive health, economic and social disparities more generally.

A recent report by the Kaiser Family Foundation documents these disparities on a broad range of health indicators, including diabetes, heart disease, AIDS and cancer. It finds that “there is growing evidence that social factors (e.g., income, education, occupation, neighborhoods, and housing) are associated with health behaviors, access to health care, and health outcomes.” Anti-abortion-rights activists ignore these systemic disparities and instead falsely accuse abortion providers of targeting minority communities.

What should we focus on instead? Affordable contraceptives and comprehensive sex education are key in reducing rates of unintended pregnancies and abortions, as are better health care and more educational and economic opportunities for black women.


President and CEO

Guttmacher Institute

New York City



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