Abortion Disproportionately Targets Black Babies; CDC: 74% of Abortions in Mississippi Were Performed on Black Mothers

Terence P. Jeffrey | May 24, 2022 | 11:15am EDT
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(Photo by Ute Grabowsky/Phototek via Getty Images)
(Photo by Ute Grabowsky/Phototek via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - Babies carried by black mothers in 2019 were aborted in greater numbers and at a greater rate than babies carried by mothers of other races, according to a report published by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Abortion Surveillance—United States, 2019,” was published Nov. 26, 2021 by the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. It is the CDC’s latest presentation of the annual abortion numbers in the United States and includes abortion data provided to the CDC by 47 states, as well as New York City and the District of Columbia.  (California, Maryland and New Hampshire did not provide the CDC with their abortion data for 2019.)

Of the 47 responding jurisdictions, 29 states and the District of Columbia provided information that included the race and ethnicity of the women who underwent abortions in their jurisdictions in 2019. (The CDC, however, did not publish the number of black mothers who underwent abortions in Montana or Wyoming because the number was four or less. “Cells with a value in the range of 1–4 or cells that would allow for calculation of these values have been suppressed in this report to maintain confidentiality in tables presented by reporting area of occurrence,” the CDC explained in its report.)

In each of the 27 jurisdictions for which the CDC did publish the number of black women who underwent abortions, the percentage of total abortions in 2019 that were performed on black women exceeded what the Census Bureau reported was the percentage of the jurisdiction’s 2019 female population that was black.

“Non-Hispanic White women had the lowest abortion rate (6.6 abortions per 1,000 women) and ratio (117 abortions per 1,000 live births) and non-Hispanic black woman had the highest rate (23.8 abortions per 1,000 women) and ratio (386 abortions per 1,000 live births),” said the CDC report.

“As in previous years,” it said, “abortion rates and ratios differ across racial/ethnic groups. For example, in 2019, compared with non-Hispanic White women, abortion rates and ratios were 3.6 and 3.3 times higher among non-Hispanic Black women.”

Alveda King, who chairs the Center for the American Dream at the America First Policy Institute and is the niece of the great Dr. Martin Luther King, was asked about this CDC report by CNSNews.com.

“Abortion is one of the most violent, reprehensible, discriminatory crimes against humanity,” King said. “There is overwhelming evidence that many abortions have been performed to reduce minority populations in America.

“Life is sacred,” King said. “The reality of the American Dream must include everyone, from the womb to the tomb.”

Table 6 of the CDC report presents the “[n]umber of reported abortions, by known race/ethnicity and reporting area of occurrence.” It shows that 94.5 percent of the abortions—or 345,929 abortions—that occurred in 2019 in the 29 states and the District of Columbia that reported their abortions by race/ethnicity to CDC were in fact reported to the CDC. Of this total of 345,929 abortions, 132,878 (or 38.4 percent) were performed on black mothers. Another 115,486 (or 33.4 percent) were performed on white mothers; 72,509 (or 21.0 percent) were performed on Hispanic mothers; and 25,056 (or 7.2 percent) were performed on mothers of another race/ethnicity.

The table also listed the abortion rate by all four race/ethnicity categories cited in the report and defined the “rate” as being the “[n]umber of abortions obtained by women in a given racial/ethnic group per 1,000 women in that same racial/ethnic group.”

The 2019 abortion rate for white women in the 30 reporting jurisdictions was 6.6. The rate for Hispanic women was 11.7. The rate for women of other race/ethnicity was 13.0. And the rate for black women was 23.8.

The table additionally listed the “abortion ratio” for each of the race/ethnicity categories—the ratio being defined as the “[n]umber of abortions obtained by women in a given race/ethnic group per 1,000 live births to women in that same racial/ethnic group.”

The abortion ratio for white women in the 29 reporting states and the District of Columbia was 117 per 1,000 live births. For Hispanic women, it was 170; for women of other race/ethnicity, it was 236; and for black women it was 386.

Table 6 from the CDC's "Abortion Surveillance--United States, 2019"
Table 6 from the CDC's "Abortion Surveillance--United States, 2019"

Mississippi, which has enacted a bill to ban abortion after 15 weeks that is now being reviewed by the Supreme Court and which has on its books a law that (if Roe v. Wade is overturned) would ban all abortions except in cases of rape and to save the life of the mother, has the highest percentage of its abortions among black women of all the reporting states.

For 2019, Mississippi reported 3,180 abortions (or 99.6 percent of the total that occurred in the state) to the CDC by race/ethnicity. Of those 3,180 abortions, 2,532 (or 74.0 percent) were performed on black mothers.

The CDC confirmed these numbers to CNSNews.com on May 19 of this year. "[O]f the 3,180 abortions occurring in Mississippi (which includes those among both residents and out-of-state residents) for which race/ethnicity was reported, 2,352 (74%) were among non-Hispanic Black women," the CDC said.

At the same time, of the 1,533,857 women that the Census Bureau said lived in Mississippi in 2019, 608,587 (of 39.7%) were black or African American.

Of the reporting jurisdictions, Georgia had the second-highest percentage of its 2019 abortions being performed on black women. There were 33,459 abortions by known race/ethnicity of the mother in Georgia in 2019. Of these, 1,724 (or 5.2 percent) were performed on mothers of “other” race/ethnicity; 2,924 (or 8.7 percent) were performed on mothers of Hispanic race/ethnicity; 7,102 (or 21.2 percent) were performed on mothers of white race/ethnicity; and 21,709 (or 64.9 percent) were performed on mothers of black race/ethnicity.

Alabama had the third-highest percentage of its 2019 abortions being performed on black women. There were 6,005 abortions by known race/ethnicity in Alabama in 2019. Of these, 142 (or 2.4 percent) were performed on mothers of other race/ethnicity; 323 (or 5.4 percent) were performed on mothers of Hispanic race/ethnicity; 1,823 (or 30.4 percent) were performed on mothers of white race/ethnicity; and 3,717 (or 61.9 percent) were performed on women of black race/ethnicity.

The greatest differential between the percentage of the state’s population which was black in 2019 and the percentage of abortions performed on black women occurred in South Dakota.

In South Dakota, the total female population was 437,902 in 2019, according to the Census Bureau. Of that female population, 11,718 (or 2.68 percent) was black. According to the CDC, there were 414 abortions by known race/ethnicity in South Dakota in 2019. Of those 46 (or 11.1 percent) were performed on black mothers. That was 4.14 times as great as the 2.68 percent of the population that was black.

Five other reporting jurisdictions (Kentucky, Minnesota, Michigan, Kansas and West Virginia) reported abortions performed on black mothers at a percentage that was at least three times greater than the black percentage of the population.

In Kentucky, 33.7 percent of the abortions were performed on black mothers, according to the CDC. But Kentucky had a female population of 2,266,644 in 2019 of whom 217,396 (or 9.59 percent) were black. The 33.7 percentage of abortions performed on black women was 3.51 times as great as their 9.59 percent share of the population.

In Minnesota, 27.90 percent of the abortions in 2019 were performed on black mothers. But Minnesota had a female population of 2,829,821 in 2019 of whom 230,726 (or 8.15 percent) were black. The percentage of abortions performed on black women was 3.42 times as great as their 8.15 percent share of the population,

In Michigan, 51.60 percent of the abortions in 2019 were performed on black mothers. But Michigan had a female population of 5,068,329 in 2019 of whom 808,967 (or 15.96 percent) were black. The percentage of abortions performed on black women was 3.23 times greater than their 15.96 percent share of the population.

In Kansas, 23.70 percent of the abortions in 2019 were performed on black mothers. But Kansas had a female population of 1,461,617 in 2019 of whom 108,039 (or 7.39 percent) were black. The percentage of abortions performed on black women was 3.21 times greater than their 7.39 percent share of the population.

In West Virginia, 12.9 percent of the abortions in 2019 were performed on black mothers. But West Virginia had a female population of 904,377 in 2019 of whom 38,824 (or 4.29 percent) were black. The percentage of abortions performed on black women was 3.01 times greater than their 4.29 percent share of the population.

 

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