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Abortion Numbers Are Down In Illinois, Following A National Trend

By Rachel Cromidas in News on Jun 8, 2015 3:30PM

The number of abortions performed in Illinois is at a decade's low and following a national downward trend.

The latest data, released by the Illinois Department of Public Health, shows that about 40,750 surgical abortions were performed in the state in 2013, the most recent year on record, down from 41,859 in 2010.

Pill-induced abortions, which could make up as many as one-fifth of all U.S. abortions, were not included in the data round up, but state officials plan to include them in their next report, according to the Associated Press.

About 3,000 abortions performed in Illinois are given to women who have traveled from nearby states with more strict abortion laws, such as Missouri and Indiana, the report says. Nationwide, the Associated Press reports that abortions have decreased by about 12 percent since 2010 and that trend seems to bear out both for states that have enacted anti-abortion laws and state with less restrictive laws.

Advocates on both sides of the fierce political debate over whether lawmakers should make it harder (or virtually impossible) for people who want to end their pregnancy to be able to see these numbers as a victory.

While anti-abortion organizers say the downward shift in abortions reflects a growing public acceptance of the so-called pro-life movement, Carole Brite of Planned Parenthood of Illinois told reporters that fewer women are having abortions because comprehensive sex education, the proliferation of effective birth control methods and the Affordable Care Act are all helping them prevent unwanted pregnancies in the first place.

There has been a 111 percent increase in the use of IUDs and other implanted birth control devices at Illinois Planned Parenthood centers from 2010 to 2013, according to the organization.