The news of a 41% abortion rate in New York City in 2009...is more than a little disturbing.
I tend to agree that it's really not primarily about a lack of education or contraception. It may stem in part from decision-making influenced by the economic recession, but it seems to me that the numbers represent a phenomenon that emerged despite a metropolitan culture and geographic location awash in contraceptive options.
That's what's truly chilling about the statistics. While the numbers for New York City are down from 46% in 1998, they're still a darker, deeper reflection of a widespread lack of personal responsibility at a very basic level. Even in a time of great economic hardship, a decision to abort a fetus, a distinct liberty interest, involves a fundamental moral choice, a choice that's foreseeable. Such a high pregnancy termination rate in a given area seems to go beyond any arguments about individual choice into the realm of an eerie social problem, one that I believe is more about what is held to be socially or culturally acceptable than about a failure to educate or provide contraception.