Nearly one-third of all pregnancies in the city of Detroit end in abortion, a statistic public health officials blame on rising poverty and dwindling access to affordable contraception.
Of an estimated 18,360 pregnancies among Detroit residents in 2012, the most recent year for which data are available, 5,693 ended in abortion, or 31 percent.
During that same year, an estimated 160,219 pregnancies were reported in Michigan, with 22,699 abortions.
That translates into a Detroit abortion rate — the number of abortions by population, including women who weren’t pregnant that year — of 37.9 per 1,000 women aged 15-44. That’s up from 27.5 per 1,000 women in 2001.
It’s a staggering three times greater than Michigan’s statewide rate, which declined from 12.6 abortions per 1,000 women during child-bearing years, to 11 per 1,000, over the same period.
While the abortion rate has been climbing in Detroit, it’s been declining in Michigan and across the U.S. “We’re seeing a picture that looks more like some Third-World country than someplace in the United States,” said Dr. Susan Schooley, chairwoman of the Department of Family Medicine at Henry Ford Hospital.
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