North Carolina Family Policy Council
According to new data from the State Center for Health Statistics, both birth rates and abortion rates, as well as teen pregnancies, dropped in North Carolina last year. According to the report, North Carolina Reported Pregnancies, births dropped 3.5 percent, the rate of induced abortions dropped 1.2 percent, and the teen pregnancy rate dropped 11 percent between 2009 and 2010.
In 2010, 122,302 babies were born in North Carolina. That represents almost 4,500 fewer births than in 2009. The percentage of babies born to unwed mothers (42 percent) dipped slightly from its decade-high in 2009 of 42.3 percent. However, it was still significantly higher than the decade-low of 34.3 percent in 2001.
In 2010, there were 15,957 pregnancies to 15-19 year old North Carolina girls. The pregnancy rate was highest for Hispanic women (114 per 1,000 women), followed by Black women (86.1), other minority women (84.5) and white women (65.6). The counties with the highest teen pregnancy rate per 1,000 girls ages 15-19 were: Onslow (86.6), Vance (82.4), Pamlico (82.2), Scotland (82.0), and Richmond (80.3). The counties boasting the lowest teen pregnancy rates per 1,000 girls ages 15-19 in 2010 were: Watauga (9.9), Jackson (31.0), Pitt (34.6), Alexander (34.9), and Wake (35.1).
The 30,592 abortions performed in North Carolina in 2010, represented a drop in the rate that had been seen in 2009. These abortions were performed in 24 facilities in 11 counties. More than 60 percent of the state’s abortions were performed in Mecklenburg (34.7 percent) and Wake (26.4 percent) County. The average age of the women who had an abortion in North Carolina in 2010 was 26 years. Minority women report noticeably higher abortion rates (24.4 per 1,000 Black women; 14.7 abortions per 1,000 Hispanic women; 12.8 per 1,000 other minority women) than their white counterparts, who report 8.2 abortions per 1,000 women. Women in the 20-24 age range have the highest incidence of abortion (25.7 per 1,000 women), while women ages 35-44 years old have the lowest rate of abortion (4.5 per 1,000 women). Comparatively, the abortion rate over all ages is 13.2 per 1,000 women.
Interestingly, 5,752 of the abortions performed in North Carolina were procured by women from other states. Nearly three-fourths of the non-North Carolina residents who procured an abortion in North Carolina were from South Carolina. Inversely, “2.4 percent of North Carolina resident abortions occurred in other states. Of these, 79.6 occurred in Virginia and 17.4 percent occurred in South Carolina,” with the remaining three percent spread across Tennessee, Kansas, West Virginia, and Washington.
“We are encouraged by the decline in teen pregnancy and abortion rates,” said Jere Royall, legal counsel for the North Carolina Family Policy Council. “The 15-19 year olds, who are included in this report, went through North Carolina’s model abstinence-until-marriage curriculum during their middle school years.”
This story was posted with permission of the North Carolina Family Policy Council