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February 10, 2014

Area sees drop in abortion rates

Change mirrors national study findings

(Continued)

“The abortion was devastating,” Pasquale said, “It put stress on our relationship and resulted in a great deal of fighting. It tore us apart. She didn’t give me a chance to even try to change her mind,” Pasquale said.

Pasquale said he doesn’t believe the young woman would have gone through with the procedure if there had been counseling available to talk her through the situation, or if there had been a waiting period between counseling and the procedure.

Pasquale said he believes one factor that has not aided in the decline of abortions is Family Planning.

“It should be defunded completely,” Pasquale said. “I also don’t think tax money should be spent on abortions. I feel bad for men and women who feel abortion is their only option.”

Rachel Jones, lead author of the Guttmacher Institute study, said two factors she found to be unrelated to the decline were recent national abortion restriction laws and decrease in providers.

“Of the 106 new abortion restrictions implemented during the study period, few or none appeared to be related to state-level patterns in abortion rates or number of providers … no evidence was found that the overall drop in abortion incidence was related to the decrease in providers or to restrictions implemented between 2008 and 2011,” the study said.

Instead, Jones said, the decline can be attributed to a steep national drop in overall pregnancy and birth rates and an improved use of contraceptives. She said couples may be avoiding or delaying pregnancy because of the recession’s lingering effects.

Debra Marcus, chief executive officer of Family Planning of South Central New York, echoed this sentiment.

“People are being more responsible and thinking about the cost of raising a child,” Marcus said.

Marcus said she also believes the decline demonstrates the affordability and accessibility of contraceptives. Reasonably priced birth control is provided for more than 10,000 patients a year at Family Planning, Marcus said. She said this is what the bulk of patients come into Family Planning — formerly a part of the Planned Parenthood organization — for.

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