Abortion not cause of population decline

Diana Schaub's recent commentary missed the facts ("Abortion and population," Jan. 23). To blame Baltimore's population decline on abortion is misleading at best. It is a broad statement that fails to deeply consider the varied reasons women choose to terminate a pregnancy.

Ms. Schaub writes that "In 1970, Baltimore City abortion rates for single white and black women stood at 7.43 and 10, respectively." Yet, the Supreme Court decision did not occur until 1973. Ms. Schaub continues by citing an increase in the abortion rate in Baltimore that grew to 86.2 by 2005. That figure does not agree with the 19.4 percent increase cited by both the Guttmacher Institute and johnstonsarchive.net.

Contrary to Ms. Schaub's opinion that women treat abortion as a method of contraception, I must wonder why any women would intentionally choose a "method" that is considerably more expensive and less available. In actuality, nearly half of all women used some form of contraception in the month in which they became pregnant, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

For a model of commitment to the lives of women and their decisions to have or not to have children, I refer your readers to the 19th Century Rabbi Sofer, who wrote that "no woman is required to build the world by destroying herself."

Colleen Bowers, Baltimore

The writer serves on the council of governors of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.

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