Kathryn Lopez

In New York City, 41 percent of babies are aborted.

It's even worse than that, actually.

As the Chiaroscuro Foundation, a group that supports abortion alternatives, has pointed out: "Sixty percent of African-American pregnancies in New York City were aborted in 2009, the most recent year for which data is available. In a 10-year period beginning in 2000, more than 900,000 pregnancies in the city ended in abortion -- nearly one-eighth of the entire city population of just over 8 million."

Abortion, of course, is a hot-button word, bringing up all kinds of emotions in all kinds of people.

Even though it's legal, it's generally not considered a social good. Which is why groups that advocate for its ease of access -- and expansion -- typically go to great lengths to avoid the actual use of the word.

And, even though we may frequently avoid it at the dinner table and in political speech, there are some areas of consensus. For instance, even enlightened, progressive New Yorkers are shocked by the 41-percent statistic. Earlier this year, McLaughlin and Associates found that 64 percent of the city's residents think that number is shockingly high -- even 57 percent of self-identified pro-choice women agree.

So what's a desperate pregnant woman to do? If you live in New York, call the archbishop's office. Timothy Dolan has renewed a promise made by that great defender of human life, the late John Cardinal O'Connor: if you are pregnant and you need help, the Catholic Church will help you.

The Church has faced its well-publicized setbacks, but deep in the heart of its ongoing renewal is the commitment to the most innocent among us. It was a priority of the recently beatified Pope John Paul II, whose superior communication skills, fearlessness and love made it the premier human-rights issue of our day.

The awful numbers in New York present both a crisis and an opportunity. In part, to insist, as John Paul II was wont to, on a little truth.


Kathryn Lopez

Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, writes a weekly column of conservative political and social commentary for Newspaper Enterprise Association.