-- Catholic News Agency
Ohio Abortion Figures Show Large Drop In 2011
AKRON, OHIO, October 23 (CNA) .- An Ohio state government report shows that there were 24,764 abortions reported in the state in 2011, but the total number was down 12 percent from the previous year.
Patrick D'Andrea, Chairman of the Ohio Life Collaboration Campaign, said it was "heartwarming and inspiring to learn that nearly 3,000 fewer women and their babies endured the pain of abortion."
The figures come from the Ohio Department of Health and represent the continued decline in abortion numbers which began in 2000.
The state health department said there was a "large decline" in the number of medical or non-surgical abortions, which decreased from 5,862 to 1,234. The report said it is not clear if the decline results from a shift to other abortion procedures or if it represents under-reporting of abortions.
About one in six women who obtained abortions were under 20 years old while another 33 percent were between 20 and 24. About 86 percent of women who obtained an abortion were never married, divorced or widowed.
D'Andrea credited the state's decline in abortions to education, media and public policy efforts about alternatives to abortion, and efforts to publicize information about pregnancy assistance centers.
"It's exciting that more Ohio women are learning about the positive resources and assistance available to them, and choosing life for their babies," he said.
D'Andrea said the Ohio Life Collaboration Campaign, a coalition of pro-life groups, is "pleased to be part of the movement to empower women to choose life."
Coalition partners include Heroic Media, Option Line, Heartbeat International, Right to Life of Northeast Ohio and area churches and pregnancy centers. The campaign coordinates member groups' efforts.
The umbrella organization conducted a media campaign in 2011 that resulted in 120 billboard ads and 300,000 internet ad impressions. Its present media campaign includes 400 billboards with an audience of 7 million daily. The campaign's ad impressions for this year are expected to pass one million.
The state of Ohio requires induced abortions to be reported to the health department. The confidential reports include demographic and medical history information about the woman obtaining the abortion and information about the abortion procedure. Abortion reports beginning in year 2012 will allow the recording of specific drug types used in abortions.
The reports are intended for use in statistical reports about abortions in Ohio.
Over half of all induced abortions were performed less than 9 weeks into pregnancy, while 28 percent were performed on pregnancies 9-12 weeks.
Ohio's abortion rate in 2011 was 11.1 per 1,000 women ages 15-44. In 2008, the national abortion rate was 16 per 1,000 women. The 2011 abortion ratio was 181 abortions per 1,000 live births, a decrease from 190 in 2010. In 2008 the U.S. abortion ratio was 234 abortions per 1,000 live births.
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