“I’m frankly embarrassed to be a member of a community where 41 percent of pregnancies are terminated,” said Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York at an ecumenical news conference with other church leaders at the Penn Club last week.
As reported by the New York Times, “The annual figure has averaged 90,000 in recent years, or about 40 percent of all pregnancies, twice the national rate.”
Archbishop Dolan called these numbers “downright chilling.” Indeed, African-Americans might find them especially ominous since the 2009 data reveal “a rate close to 60 percent for black women,” according to the Times.
The relevant statistics are to be found in the December 2010 report of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene which, as described by the New York Post‘s Andy Soltis (“NYers twice as likely to abort”), “that of all viable pregnancies here, 87,272 were terminated, compared with 126,774 live births.”
“New York does not deserve the gravestone ‘Abortion capital of the world.’ Our boast is the Statue of Liberty, not the Grim Reaper,” said the Archbishop. “I re-affirm [the late] Cardinal John O’Connor’s promise of a quarter-century ago that every woman facing a difficult pregnancy will be provided with free, confidential help of the highest quality from the Archdiocese of New York.”
“We are prepared to do everything in our power to help you and your unborn baby to make absolutely certain that you need never feel that you have no choice but an abortion,” said the prelate.
This commitment to the people of New York City, and the ongoing work of Catholic Charities, will be bolstered by a pledge from Sean Fieler, an investment banker and philanthropist, and his nonprofit Chiaroscuro Foundation to spend approximately $1 million to open counseling centers and provide help to pregnant women in need.
Mr. Fieler’s stark assessment of the recent New York abortion statistics: “These numbers represent a failure,” he said.
That they are. The progressive vision of making abortion safe, legal, and rare seems to be falling short in the big Apple and for most of the nation for that matter.
For those who love New York and New Yorkers, these statistics bring a profound sense of sadness. It is a town one normally associates with energy, opportunity and purposeful striving. That Gotham is now destroying its young contradicts all that New York means to the imagination of America and the whole world. It is along way from Ellis Island to the abattoir.
All of the usual suspects, of course, have raised the cry for even more sex education and contraception without any sense of irony that these value-free approaches to human sexuality merely propel a self-defeating treadmill of more promiscuity, more out-of-wedlock births, more social and marital breakdown, more deaths of unborn children, more male irresponsibility, and the denigration of women and mothers.
At last week’s press conference, Archbishop Dolan was joined by Bishop Nicholas A. DiMarzio of Brooklyn; the Rev. Michel Faulkner, pastor of the New Horizon Church in Harlem; Rabbi David Zwiebel, vice president of Agudath Israel of America, a national Orthodox Jewish community service organization; and Leslie Diaz, a spokeswoman for Democrats for Life of New York.
These church leaders, as well as Mr. Fieler are brave and intrepid souls, patriots all, who continue to stand up for life, liberty and America’s greatest city.