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Among married women a different pattern emerges. For both whites and blacks the birth rates have declined, and even with the addition of legal abortions we have a decline in the total rate of known pregnancies among married women. At the very least this suggests a great improvement in con. traceptive effectiveness between the late 1960's and 1972.
Among married women it is unlikely that the rise in legal abortion had a great impact on marital births. For example, the abortion rate among black wives increased from less than 1 to 24 per 1000 between 1966 and 1972-an increase of 24. In contrast the marital fertility rate among blacks declined from 145 to 92-a drop of 53 per 1000. The decline in birth rates was double the increase in legal abortion rates. If one assumes a sizable level of illegal abortion among married women in 1966, the possible net increase in induced abortions is even less than 24-this again suggests that the bulk of the decline in marital fertility is coming from contraception—not legal abortion.
Finally, it is interesting to have fertility rates, by color, for 1972 in a state with 20 million people. (The National Center for Health Statistics has not published national race-specific fertility rates since 1968, at which time the birth rates per 1000 whites and blacks aged 15-44 were 81 and 115, respcetively. This rate includes both legitimate and illegitimate births. Trends in California are shown in the bottom panel. We see that the fertility rate for all women 15-44 in 1972 was 68, and for whites only it was 67. The rate for blacks was 77 births per 1000 aged 15–44. Among whites a fertility rate of about 72 will be a replacement level if it is maintained over a long perind of time. Among blacks slightly higher mortality at early ages requires slightly higher fertility rates to replace the black population—perhaps a rate of 74 will do the job. The conclusion, then, is that whites are slightly below and blacks only slightly above replacement fertility levels—this represents a radical change from the situation as late as 1970. Finally, it is doubtful that this radical change from the past is primarily caused by legalization of abortion, although we would expect to find larger effects on abortion on births after 1972. Although these abortion rates appear large they should increase in 1973 --especially among the poor and unmarried-because the court's 1973 decision will reduce restrictions on abortion in California that remained in effect throughout 1972.
BIRTH AND LEGAL ABORTION RATES PER 1,000 WOMEN 15 TO 44 IN CALIFORNIA
Source: Sklar and Berkov (1973). 1972 Abortion ratios for unmarried and married whites and blacks, respectively= 2,326, 1,105, and 98 and 253. White total=322; black total =680.
RAPID CITY, S. DAK., August 28, 1974. Mr. J. WILLIAM HECKMAN, Chief Counsel, Senate Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments, Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. HECKMAN: As Chairman of the Rapid City Right to Life Committee, I would like to take this opportunity to present written testimony from our group for your hearing on Constitutional Amendments.
The Rapid City Chapter of the South Dakota Right to Life consists of 44 regular members. We have 6 members that are unable to attend meetings because of physical disabilities but who are on call for any assistance they can provide. There are also 5 non-members who are willing to donate time and money whenever possible according to circumstances.
We are all opposed to abortion. It is legalized killing and is not consistent with our Constitution that proclaims all men are created equal and have a right to life.
On August 13th through the 18th we had a booth at the county fair. The number of people who stopped to give us their moral support was very encouraging. In the three years of our existence we have never had such a heartwarming response.
Recently we were able to acquire 8,000 signatures in just a few days to protest abortion in Rapid City hospitals.
We sincerely hope that some of this pro-life feeling will penetrate the political minds in Washington.
Please consider human life at all stages to be worthwhile even if they can't vote. Sincerely,
Mrs. LARRY ROBERDEAU (Rita),
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Bismarck, N. Dak. To COUNTY AUDITORS: In accordance with Section 16-01-07 and 16-11-07 (as amended) of the North Dakota Century Code, I do hereby certify that the following is the complete text of the Initiated Statute (measure) that will be submitted to the voters at the general election to be held November 7, 1972. The publication of the complete text of the Initiated Statute (measure) shall be in columns of six point light face type.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the Great Seal of the State of North Dakota at the capitol in the city of Bismarck, this Twenty-ninth day of September, 1972.
Secretary of State. (GREAT SEAL]
INITIATED STATUTE (MEASURE) NO. 1 An Act which would allow physicians licensed under Chapter 43–17–Physi. cians and Surgeons-North Dakota Century Code, to terminate pregnancy if certain pre-conditions are present.
Be It Enacted by the People of the State of North Dakota :
Section 1-Neither the termination by a physician licensed under Chapter 43–17--Physicians and Surgeons—NDCC, of the pregnancy of a woman not quick with child nor the prescribing, supplying or administering of any medi. cine, drug or substance to or the use of any instrument or other means on, such woman by a physician so licensed, nor the taking of any medicine, drug or substance or the use or submittal to the use of any instrument or other means by such a woman when following the directions of a physician so licensed, with the intent to terminate such pregnancy, shall be deemed unlawful acts within the meaning of this act.
Section 2-A pregnancy of a woman not quick with child and not more than 20 weeks gestation may be lawfully terminated under this act only : (a) with her prior consent, if under the age of eighteen years, with the prior consent of her husband or legal guardian, respectively: (b) if the woman has resided in this state for at least ninety days prior to the date of termination; and (c) in a hospital accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals or at a medical facility approved for that purpose by the State Department of Health which facility meets standards prescribed by regula: tions to be issued by the State Department of Health for the safe and adequate care and treatment of patients. PROVIDED, that if a physician deter. mines that termination is immediately necessary to meet the medical emergency the pregnancy may be terminated elsewhere. Any physician who violates this section of this act or any regulation of the State Department of Health Issued under authority of this section shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor.
Section 3—No hospital, physician, nurse, hospital employee nor any other person shall be under any duty, by law or contract, nor shall such hospital or person in any circumstances be required, to participate in a termination of pregnancy if such hospital or person objects to such termination. No such person shall be discriminated against in employment or professional privileges because he so objects.
Section 4If any provision of this act, or its application to any person or circumstance, is held invalid, the remainder of the act, or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances, is not affected.
Section 5—This act shall be submitted to the people for their adoption and ratification, or rejection, at the general election to be held in this state on the Tuesday next succeeding the first Monday on November 7, 1972.