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IN abortion rate declines

Fewer abortions were performed in Indiana in 2010 than in any other year in the past three decades.

A little more than 10,000 procedures took place that year, based on the most recent data from the Indiana State Department of Health.  That’s a 5% drop from 2009. It’s also the lowest the figure has been since 1977, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Mike Fichter with Indiana Right to Life says state legislation and the work of crisis pregnancy centers that encourage abortion alternatives have contributed to the drop.

 “The informed consent information that’s now being provided to women that was not being provided for years is particularly helpful especially provisions such as informing women about the ability to hear their babies heartbeat.”

Planned Parenthood of Indiana says one of its primary goals is to prevent unwanted pregnancy, but in a statement spokesman John Mills also says Indiana does a poor job offering resources to women who may not want to have children.

“Indiana is still 49th in the nation in terms of accessibility in family planning services and we are woefully behind the rest of the nation with regard to the teen birth rate.”

Based on analysis from the Guttmacher Institute—a national research organization that advocates for access to reproductive healthcare, Indiana falls in line with national trends for the rise and fall of its abortion rates.

Rachel Jones is a senior research assistant with the Guttmacher Institute. She says there could be several factors causing the decline.

“I don’t think there’s any really good data that could tell us what’s necessarily going on there. It could be that women who get pregnant when they don’t want to be have a harder time accessing abortion services so therefore there’s a decline in abortion.  It could also be that women in Indiana have an easier time getting access to contraceptives.”

Indiana’s annual abortion rate is lower than the national average.