Rise in abortions blamed on economic downturn


OAKLAND, Calif. — As the economy continues to struggle, some Planned Parenthood clinics are reporting a record number of abortions, according to a recent Los Angeles Times article.

An Oakland, Calif.-based group that claims to help poor women seeking reproductive health care reports about 72 percent of its calls are from women considering abortions, up from 60 percent last year, the Times reported.  A year ago, abortions accounted for 1 percent of business at Planned Parenthood clinics in Fresno, Calif. Now, it's about 3 percent.  And California taxpayers funded 94,600 abortions for poor women in 2005, the most recent year for which data is available.

Brian Johnston, executive director of the California ProLife Council, said abortion clinics exploit a woman at her most vulnerable point. "If she knows she has people who are willing to help her, that greatly impacts her decision," he said. "Our goal is to emphasize that there are resources available, and there are better answers than abortion." Johnston said life advocates have more to offer than "15 minutes on the table."

"The pro-life movement is made of people who are opening their homes and pocketbooks," he said. "They are genuinely involved in these women's lives."

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