At the beginning of the year statistics came out that showed New York has a 40 percent abortion rate, statistics which many (especially the clergy) were not happy to see. Bus ads regarding the stats were put up, people doubted and backed up the numbers, a racially charged billboard was put up in SoHo (and then taken down for "safety") and then the whole issue kind of went away for a bit. Until now. At the request of Chiaroscuro Foundation, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has broken down their 2009 abortion statistics by zip code, and the results may surprise you.
The highest abortion rate in the city, with 67.23 percent of pregnancies aborted, is in Chelsea's 10018 zip code (where there are 114.8 males for every 100 women). The next highest rates come in Jamaica and Southeast Queens (both at about 60 percent) followed by Greenwich Village and Central Harlem (also both about 60 percent). The highest abortion rate in Brooklyn (and fifth highest in the city) is in Bed-Stuy, where 59 percent of pregnancies apparently end in abortion. Meanwhile, the lowest rates in the city are all in Manhattan, specifically the Upper West Side (8.13 percent), Lower Manhattan (6.71 percent) and the Upper East Side, where just 6.12 percent of pregnancies are aborted.
One other thing the Chiaroscuro Foundation noted from the statistics the DOH provided: In 2009 48,627 of the 87,273 abortions in New York City (56 percent), were repeat abortions and 33,401 (38 percent) were paid for by Medicaid. If you want to see all those stats up close, nyc41percent.com has set up an interactive map and have also put the stats out in an easy to read PDF.
The Chiaroscuro Foundation is using these statistics to call on the City to release more up-to-date abortion data in a timely fashion. "Given the city’s extremely high abortion rate, we renew our call for Mayor Bloomberg to instruct the Department to release the data in an even more current fashion: preliminarily month by month throughout the year," Greg Pfundstein, Chiaroscuro's Executive Director, said. "Remember, we are still talking about 2009 data. By being able to measure where the highest rates of abortion are occurring in the city, we can determine over time what methods of outreach work best to lower those rates."