State ranks 13th in country in abortions, CDC says

Posted on Thursday, September 6, 2012 at 6:01 pm

By IAN SKOTTE

Staff Writer

Wednesday marked the 12-year anniversary of the Planned Parenthood of Middle Tennessee v. Sundquist ruling by Tennessee’s Supreme Court, which reaffirmed the right to privacy found in the Tennessee Constitution.

The suit was originally filed in 1992 against the state, challenging its restrictive abortion statute.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee, the court said that “a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy is a vital part of the right to privacy guaranteed by the Tennessee Constitution” and affirmed greater privacy protections under the state constitution.”

But according to Tennessee’s Right to Life president Brian Harris, the ruling pushed through the most extreme pro-abortion policies of any state.

“Common sense policies such as informed consent for women considering abortion and the regulation of abortion facilities are enforced in our neighboring states but not in Tennessee,” said Harris.  “Advocates on both sides of the abortion question recognize that without basic safeguards, Tennessee has become a destination for women across the southeast seeking unregulated abortion on demand.”

 

14 percent of

pregnancies in state end in abortion

According to the Tennessee Department of Health, 14 percent of pregnancies in the state ended in abortion in the five-year period between 2006-2010.

More than 67,000 abortions were performed in Tennessee compared to 417,000 births during that time period. Statistics show the largest percentage of abortions occurred in girl’s ages 10-14, with 33 percent of those pregnancies ending in abortion.

The Tennessee Department of Health released figures that break down the total number of abortions performed by age and race.

According to the state’s figures, women ages 20-24 (from 2006-2010) had the highest number of abortions. More than 22,000 abortions were performed in this age group. It should be noted this age group also had the highest number of births.

Tennessee ranks 13th (excluding California) when it comes to abortions. Neighboring state North Carolina has a higher abortion rate, and Alabama and Kentucky aren’t far behind Tennessee.

According to Steven Emmert, chief operating officer with Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee, there will always be a need for abortion services due to unavoidable circumstances.

Planned Parenthood, Emmert noted, is committed to ensuring that women have access to safe abortion services.

“At the same time, we work everyday to help women avoid unintended pregnancies with the help of preventative health care services, birth control and education.”

Still, the abortion rate in the U.S. has remained stagnant over the last decade with 16 percent of women choosing to terminate a pregnancy, according to the CDC.

Emmert says that could soon change. And, it’s one of the reasons he’s happy with the Affordable Care Act that allows women access to birth control services with no co-pay.

“When you’re talking about an economy that’s struggling, and a family debating whether they’re going to have food left through the end of the month, or if Mom’s going to have her birth control pills—those are difficult decisions women are having to make everyday.”

 

Where they stand

Obviously a hot-button issue on the campaign trail, here’s where both presidential candidates stand on the issue of abortion.

Gov. Mitt Romney says he’s an opponent of any form of abortion—except in the case of rape, incest and the risk of the mother’s health. However, this was not always his stance. Gov. Romney ran as a pro-choice candidate for governor of Massachusetts. His current stance on abortion also differs with his party’s platform of anti-abortion no matter what the circumstances.

President Barack Obama believes abortion should be left up to the mother to decide and supports Roe v. Wade. He also remains committed to policies, initiatives and programs that help prevent unintended pregnancies.

 

Voters to decide in Tennessee

Tennessee voters will decide whether the state constitution protects abortion right. State House members approved a referendum in May for a resolution intended to nullify the 2000 Tennessee Supreme Court ruling. It will appear on the ballot in 2014.

The ballot resolution will say: “Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion. The people retain the right through their elected state representatives and state senators to enact, amend, or repeal statutes regarding abortion, including, but not limited to, circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest or when necessary to save the life of the mother.”

 

 

Year Age Range Race Abortions Population Births
2006  10-44  ALL 12,586 1,447,576 84,206
2006  10-14  ALL 68 201,827 160
2006  15-17  ALL 737 118,599 3,392
2006  18-19  ALL 1,491 83,262 7,387
2006  20-24  ALL 3,717 200,883 25,437
2006  25-29  ALL 3,486 198,691 23,583
2006  30-34  ALL 1,684 205,910 15,652
2006  35-39  ALL 1,179 210,117 7,211
2006  40-44  ALL 224 228,287 1,384
2006  10-44  WHITE 6,265 1,132,492 64,706
2006  10-14  WHITE 24 153,516 78
2006  15-17  WHITE 362 91,320 2,192
2006  18-19  WHITE 762 63,214 5,209
2006  20-24  WHITE 1,911 155,271 18,940
2006  25-29  WHITE 1,603 154,022 18,603
2006  30-34  WHITE 804 162,338 12,720
2006  35-39  WHITE 662 168,015 5,867
2006  40-44  WHITE 137 184,796 1,097
2006  10-44  NONWHITE 6,016 315,084 19,500
2006  10-14  NONWHITE 40 48,311 82
2006  15-17  NONWHITE 359 27,279 1,200
2006  18-19  NONWHITE 700 20,048 2,178
2006  20-24  NONWHITE 1,712 45,612 6,497
2006  25-29  NONWHITE 1,806 44,669 4,980
2006  30-34  NONWHITE 838 43,572 2,932
2006  35-39  NONWHITE 485 42,102 1,344
2006  40-44  NONWHITE 76 43,491 287
2007  10-44  ALL 14,282 1,448,370 86,572
2007  10-14  ALL 92 195,994 163
2007  15-17  ALL 761 120,852 3,361
2007  18-19  ALL 1,468 84,526 7,894
2007  20-24  ALL 4,731 203,161 26,015
2007  25-29  ALL 3,676 200,382 24,478
2007  30-34  ALL 2,069 205,765 16,001
2007  35-39  ALL 1,153 211,625 7,272
2007  40-44  ALL 332 226,065 1,388
2007  10-44  WHITE 7,045 1,141,874 66,369
2007  10-14  WHITE 45 148,541 82
2007  15-17  WHITE 373 94,098 2,147
2007  18-19  WHITE 789 64,877 5,420
2007  20-24  WHITE 2,352 158,605 19,300
2007  25-29  WHITE 1,641 157,014 19,312
2007  30-34  WHITE 1,009 163,509 13,143
2007  35-39  WHITE 629 170,737 5,872
2007  40-44  WHITE 207 184,493 1,093
2007  10-44  NONWHITE 6,905 306,496 20,203
2007  10-14  NONWHITE 46 47,453 81
2007  15-17  NONWHITE 371 26,754 1,214
2007  18-19  NONWHITE 648 19,649 2,474
2007  20-24  NONWHITE 2,262 44,556 6,715
2007  25-29  NONWHITE 1,953 43,368 5,166
2007  30-34  NONWHITE 1,011 42,256 2,858
2007  35-39  NONWHITE 500 40,888 1,400
2007  40-44  NONWHITE 114 41,572 295
2008  10-44  ALL 14,178 1,448,954 85,381
2008  10-14  ALL 79 196,036 150
2008  15-17  ALL 750 122,020 3,328
2008  18-19  ALL 1,468 85,353 7,821
2008  20-24  ALL 4,751 204,630 25,396
2008  25-29  ALL 3,604 202,100 24,091
2008  30-34  ALL 1,988 205,041 16,043
2008  35-39  ALL 1,202 211,755 7,215
2008  40-44  ALL 336 222,019 1,337
2008  10-44  WHITE 6,876 1,140,729 65,016
2008  10-14  WHITE 27 148,803 68
2008  15-17  WHITE 361 94,899 2,086
2008  18-19  WHITE 737 65,382 5,351
2008  20-24  WHITE 2,303 159,502 18,710
2008  25-29  WHITE 1,659 158,332 18,926
2008  30-34  WHITE 968 162,386 13,005
2008  35-39  WHITE 610 170,534 5,803
2008  40-44  WHITE 211 180,891 1,067
2008  10-44  NONWHITE 6,986 308,225 20,365
2008  10-14  NONWHITE 52 47,233 82
2008  15-17  NONWHITE 377 27,121 1,242
2008  18-19  NONWHITE 702 19,971 2,470
2008  20-24  NONWHITE 2,340 45,128 6,686
2008  25-29  NONWHITE 1,870 43,768 5,165
2008  30-34  NONWHITE 974 42,655 3,038
2008  35-39  NONWHITE 553 41,221 1,412
2008  40-44  NONWHITE 553 41,128 270
2009  10-44  ALL 13,584 1,450,130 81,974
2009  10-14  ALL 57 196,135 121
2009  15-17  ALL 676 123,216 2,955
2009  18-19  ALL 1,375 86,201 7,406
2009  20-24  ALL 4,529 206,207 24,027
2009  25-29  ALL 3,454 203,928 23,216
2009  30-34  ALL 1,978 204,399 15,835
2009  35-39  ALL 1,188 211,939 7,079
2009  40-44  ALL 327 218,105 1,335
2009  10-44  WHITE 6,458 1,139,949 61,007
2009  10-14  WHITE 25 149,090 70
2009  15-17  WHITE 309 95,695 1,818
2009  18-19  WHITE 676 65,908 5,017
2009  20-24  WHITE 2,172 160,467 17,175
2009  25-29  WHITE 1,592 159,732 17,844
2009  30-34  WHITE 897 161,321 12,565
2009  35-39  WHITE 610 170,349 5,503
2009  40-44  WHITE 177 177,387 1,015
2009  10-44  NONWHITE 6,680 310,181 20,288
2009  10-14  NONWHITE 31 47,045 51
2009  15-17  NONWHITE 349 27,521 1,119
2009  18-19  NONWHITE 654 20,293 2,343
2009  20-24  NONWHITE 2,235 45,740 6,650
2009  25-29  NONWHITE 1,733 44,196 5,164
2009  30-34  NONWHITE 1,000 43,078 3,143
2009  35-39  NONWHITE 542 41,590 1,514
2009  40-44  NONWHITE 136 40,718 304
2010  10-44  ALL 12,475 1,478,252 79,237
2010  10-14  ALL 56 203,902 116
2010  15-17  ALL 561 125,133 2,532
2010  18-19  ALL 1,152 89,051 6,708
2010  20-24  ALL 4,287 213,339 22,758
2010  25-29  ALL 3,087 210,686 22,815
2010  30-34  ALL 1,933 204,785 16,005
2010  35-39  ALL 1,068 213,862 6,881
2010  40-44  ALL 331 217,494 1,422
2010  10-44  WHITE 5,787 1,090,540 60,112
2010  10-14  WHITE 22 145,982 51
2010  15-17  WHITE 242 89,402 1,642
2010  18-19  WHITE 541 63,377 4,592
2010  20-24  WHITE 1,969 154,821 16,387
2010  25-29  WHITE 1,388 154,195 18,000
2010  30-34  WHITE 898 151,388 12,864
2010  35-39  WHITE 537 162,396 5,468
2010  40-44  WHITE 190 168,979 1,108
2010  10-44  NONWHITE 6,297 387,712 18,501
2010  10-14  NONWHITE 33 57,920 64
2010  15-17  NONWHITE 300 35,731 877
2010  18-19  NONWHITE 571 25,674 2,078
2010  20-24  NONWHITE 2,194 58,518 6,204
2010  25-29  NONWHITE 1,606 56,491 4,606
2010  30-34  NONWHITE 970 53,397 3,002
2010  35-39  NONWHITE 496 51,466 1,372
2010  40-44  NONWHITE 127 48,515 298

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