The following comes from a December 17 story on LifeSiteNews.com.
National and state abortion reporting laws and policies in the United States are a patchwork that falls far short of fulfilling the potential of this information to inform and guide public policy….
Some states with large numbers of abortions – for example, California and Maryland – have not produced a public, statewide abortion report in years or do not publish one at all….
Since 1969, four years before the Supreme Court legalized abortion nationwide, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have published an annual report on the incidence of abortion in the United States.
This report is based on data submitted by the majority, but by no means all, of the political jurisdictions in the United States. In 2009, for example – the most recent year for which CDC has published a report – CDC requested abortion reports from 52 jurisdictions, that is, the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and New York City. Forty-eight of these jurisdictions provided data to the CDC (one fewer than 2008), but only 45 of them have consistently done so since 1999, restricting the trend analysis CDC is able to perform. The submission of these reports by the states, D.C., and New York City is completely voluntary.
Besides the CDC, the only other source for national abortion data in the United States is the private, independent nonprofit Guttmacher Institute. Named for the president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America from 1962-74, Alan F. Guttmacher, M.D., the Institute obtains survey data directly from abortion providers, including those with which it was formerly affiliated as the research arm of Planned Parenthood. This history has permitted the Institute to obtain information that, though voluntarily submitted like that from the CDC’s reporting areas, is far more complete than the federal data. The average undercount for CDC data is shown in Table 1.
Federal Undercount of U.S. Abortions: 1999-2009
|Year||CDC Surveillance||Guttmacher||% CDC Undercount|
Jurisdictions that continue to make abortion reporting voluntary include, however, several that report some of the highest abortion rates in the United States, significantly affecting the quality and utility of national abortion data through public sources. These jurisdictions are California, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, and New Hampshire. Most of these states rank among the top ten nationally in their abortion rates: California (6th), the District of Columbia (4th), Maryland (5th), New Jersey (3rd), and New Hampshire (31st-tie).
|General Features of Abortion Reporting Laws|
|Mandatory reporting?||Publicly available?||Annual report released?||Latest annual report available||Internet reporting available?||Include medical abortions?|
|MD||Has not collected data since 2006||Yes||No||2006||No|
Forty-four of the 50 states compile and publish annual reports providing an array of information, most commonly the total number of abortions, the gestational age of the developing child, the number of previous abortions, the abortion method, and the provider type. The six states that publish no annual reports again include some with the highest abortions rates in the country (California, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Maryland)….
For complete story, click here.