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Chiaroscuro Foundation Breaks Down New York Abortion Ratio by Zip Code, Urges New Yorkers toJoin Local Efforts to Reduce Rate

by | Sep 9, 2011

Editor’s note. The following release was sent out today by the Chiaroscuro Foundation.

New York– New detailed data on New York City’s staggering 41% abortion ratio–almost twice the national average–show that the zip code with the highest abortion ratio in the city, 67%, is in Manhattan’s Chelsea-Clinton neighborhood.  The data were made available today by the Chiaroscuro Foundation, a New York City not-for-profit organization that supports alternatives to abortion.

The data, which was provided by the New York City Department of Health at the Chiaroscuro Foundation’s request, show the abortion ratio by the zip code of residence of women receiving abortions in New York City.  An online map of the data can be accessed  The zip code with the highest ratio, 10018, is in the Chelsea-Clinton neighborhood of Manhattan, with a ratio of 67%, followed by 60% in two Jamaica, Queens zip codes and in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, 10012, and Central Harlem-Morningside Heights neighborhoods.   The five zip codes with the lowest abortion ratios are on the Upper East Side, in Lower Manhattan, on the Upper West Side, and in Borough Park, Brooklyn.  The lowest ratio, 6.12%, is in 10162.  The fifteen highest and lowest zip codes, with selected demographic information, are available here:

Also at the Chiaroscuro Foundation’s request, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene revealed that in 2009 48,627 of the 87,273 abortions in New York City, or 56%, were repeat abortions.  33,401, 38%, were paid for by Medicaid.

The Chiaroscuro Foundation is hoping to lower the number of abortions in New York City over time by working with New Yorkers and organizations who agree that the rate of abortion in New York is too high. Sixty-four percent (64%) of New Yorkers believe the abortion rate is too high in New York City – including 57% of pro-choice women – according to a poll conducted by the polling firm McLaughlin & Associates for the Foundation earlier this year.  Seventy four percent believe that the overall 60% abortion rate in the African American community is too high.  (The poll’s margin of error was +/- 3.4%)

“The Chiaroscuro Foundation is grateful to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for providing this detailed data; no city in the nation keeps better, more current records,” said Greg Pfundstein Executive Director of the Chiaroscuro Foundation. “Even so, given the city’s extremely high abortion rate, we renew our call for Mayor [Michael] Bloomberg to instruct the Department to release the data in an even more current fashion: preliminarily month by month throughout the year.  Remember, we are still talking about 2009 data.  By being able to measure where the highest rates of abortion are occurring in the city, we can determine over time what methods of outreach work best to lower those rates.”

New York City’s abortion rate is nearly double the national average of 23%, a fact to which the Chiaroscuro Foundation has been drawing attention since the 2009 data were released in January.

Categories: Abortion