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Local News

February 10, 2014

Area sees drop in abortion rates

Change mirrors national study findings

(Continued)

The availability of reasonably priced emergency contraceptives, such as Plan B, is another reason for decline in abortion rates, Marcus said. She said she also believes comprehensive sexual education provided in schools has contributed to the decline.

Marcus said legislative obstacles hindering access to abortion have been passed in other states, such as Texas. These restrictions include the lowering of gestational limits, requiring pre-abortion ultrasounds, a 24-hour waiting period and what are referred to as TRAP restrictions, or targeted regulation of abortion providers. These restrictions mandate that hallways in abortion clinics must be a certain width and that doctors have to have admitting privileges to the local hospital.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, New York does not have any of the major types of abortion restrictions that are often found in other states, such as waiting periods, mandated parental involvement or limitations on publicly funded abortions, so restrictions can be ruled out as reason for the decline.

In an effort to remove any barriers blocking women’s health, Marcus said, Family Planning has Saturday and evening appointments available. Marcus said women who come into the facility are encouraged to get a full health exam. She said the facility also provides life-saving cancer screenings. Contrary to popular belief, one thing Family Planning does not provide, Marcus said, is an actual abortion.

According to the Guttmacher Institute Study, the national number of abortion providers declined four percent in 2011 and the number of clinics dropped one percent. In 2011, 89 percent of counties had no clinics, and 38 percent of women of reproductive age lived in those counties, the study said.

Marcus said the provider of choice in and around upstate New York is the office of Dr. Amy Cousins at Access for Women, formerly Southern Tier Women’s Services. The clinic, located near Binghamton, serves much of upstate New York. 

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