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Number of Abortions Declines in Ohio, With Medication Abortion Use Down 79%

Number of Abortions Declines in Ohio, With Medication Abortion Use Down 79%

The number of abortions performed in Ohio fell by 12% last year, marking the largest annual decline in over a decade, according to a report released on Monday by the state Department of Health, the Columbus Dispatch reports.

Number of Abortions Declines in Ohio, With Medication Abortion Use Down 79%

October 4, 2012 — The number of abortions performed in Ohio fell by 12% last year, marking the largest annual decline in over a decade, according to a report released on Monday by the state Department of Health, the Columbus Dispatch reports. According to the report, 24,764 abortions occurred in 2011, down from 28,123 in 2010.

The report did not assess why fewer abortions were performed, but it noted a sharp decline in the use of medication abortion. Medication abortion procedures decreased by 79%, to 1,234, last year.

Health officials said the number of abortions in Ohio has decreased each of the last 11 years and is now the lowest level since the state began tracking the information 36 years ago.

Possible Factors

Abortion-rights advocates said several factors likely contributed to the decline, including fewer unintended pregnancies and state laws that have reduced access to abortion care.

The decrease in medication abortion could be tied to a state law that requires women to make multiple visits to their doctor, according to Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio. State lawmakers also have outlawed abortion later in pregnancy and barred public clinics and hospitals from performing the procedure, with few exceptions.

"The goal should not be to make abortion less accessible but making it less necessary," Copeland said, adding that Ohio lawmakers have held 43 hearings on abortion restrictions and none on increasing access to contraception and improving sex education (Candisky, Columbus Dispatch, 10/2).