In my last post, I made the argument that the difference between the number of residents of Allegheny County who had abortions, and the number of abortions performed in the County -- 2,935 more abortions than those performed on residents in 2015 -- could be explained if the excess were students from the County and beyond, giving their home counties or states as their residences.
The statistics above confirm this. On the left are counties in the western part of PA (just west of Harrisburg) and the number of students that are enrolled in the colleges in those counties. On the right are the abortions recorded for 2015 for the same counties. One sees immediately that there is no correspondence between the number of students and the number of abortions. So, for example, Centre County (State College) has over 47,000 students, but only 127 abortions to residents. Contrast this with Westmoreland County, with 12,000 students, but 432 abortions to residents, or Fayette County, with 800 students and 196 abortions.
How many of these students in the western half of PA are coming to Pittsburgh for abortions? It's something of a guessing game, but we can make some assumptions. Women among the over-47,000 students at State College who are seeking abortions are probably going to Harrisburg. The majority of student abortion-seekers in Westmoreland, Butler, Washington and Beaver, Lawrence, and Indiana counties likely are coming to Pittsburgh.
It is a safe assumption that higher numbers of students means higher numbers of abortions. It would make sense, then, for us who want to reach these women before they make a decision they may well regret, to reach the women in those counties and at those institutions with advertising, and direct them to the local pregnancy help centers.
Vision for Life - Pittsburgh is aiming to bring down abortion numbers for residents of Allegheny County. (In 2015, 4 out of 5 unborn children of residents were born; 1 was aborted. Now, we are going for 5 out of 6!) As I noted in my last blog post, the number of abortions to non-residents of Allegheny County actually declined faster from 2010 to 2015 than the number of abortions to residents. If we were to advertise in these other counties with high numbers of students, we might help bring down those non-resident numbers even further and faster.
Chris Humphrey has been involved in pro-life activity of one kind or another since the late 1970s, when he first looked at the subject of abortion in seminary in Canada. He has an undergraduate degree in English (University of Toronto), and M.A. and Ph.D. in religious studies (McGill). He has had a varied career as a pastor, chaplain in a psychiatric hospital, editor of academic and instructional publications, semi-professional photographer, and home renovator. He is a husband of over 40 years to Edith (a Professor of New Testament), father to three girls, and grandfather to twelve grandchildren. He lives and works in the Stanton Heights neighborhood of Pittsburgh.