Fewer abortions in NYC — but why?

According to state Assembly member Richard Gottfried, the reason that the rate of abortions of viable pregnancies decreased is simple: “You have more acceptance of sex education and responsible use of contraceptives. That’s why we’re seeing positive reductions.”

But is that so?

This is the question Greg Pfundstein of the Chiaroscoro Foundation asks Mr. Gottfried in an open letter. “It is certainly not an implausible claim,” Pfundstein concedes, “but I am wondering if you have any evidence to support it.”

In fact, the evidence seems to point in a different direction. Pfundstein goes on:

The CDC has been tracking a consistent trend in delayed sexual initiation among teenagers and a decrease in the proportion of individuals who have had more than 5 sexual partners in the past 12 months. Meanwhile, contraceptive usage has remained quite static. If nothing else, an application of Ockham’s Razor would incline one to look toward decreased sexual activity before crediting contraceptive use for a decline in abortion in New York.

You can read the whole thing here. This is a good example of how to appeal to our leaders both clearly and graciously.

And hopefully it’ll stir some thinking along the way.

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