Analysis

Pennsylvania abortion rate reached record low in 2013 as pro-life leaders credit education

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The Pennsylvania Department of Health has released its 2013 abortion numbers showing termination of preborn children falling to a record low. Pennsylvania joins Utah, whose 2013 numbers also showed historic lows in abortion.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health said:

In 2013, there were 32,108 abortions performed in Pennsylvania. The 2013 figure is a 51.2 percent decrease from the 1980 total of 65,777 (the highest annual number ever recorded). The 2013 figure represents a decrease of 2,428 or 7.0 percent from the 34,536 that occurred in 2012. This is the lowest annual number ever recorded.

So why the fall in the ending of human life? The Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation thinks pro-life actions and medical technology have patterned together to save lives. Micaiah Bilger, education director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, said:

As abortion centers close and more life-affirming information and resources become available, more women are being empowered to choose life.

Modern technology is making it easier to see the value of life in the womb and the tragedy of abortion. Ultrasounds allow parents to see their baby smiling or sucking his or her thumb, and a new study from the University of Florida showed that preborn babies can learn nursery rhymes in the womb.

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While the news is good as far as reduction of abortions, it’s hard to bypass a couple of the facts in the report. The most obvious is that 32,108 babies didn’t get to live. That’s enough people to populate a small city. So the abortion rate is lower, but it’s still high, when put in contextual perspective of number of deaths. However, it’s encouraging to know that the abortion rate is dropping.

While pro-lifers celebrate fewer abortions, they grieve the large number of complications that accompanied the abortions performed. The report notes:

In 2013 there were 178 reports of complications from abortions which were submitted by physicians, representing 21.9 percent more than the 146 reported in 2012. Over 64 percent of the complications in 2013 were related to retained products of conception, 19.7 percent to bleeding and 7.9 percent to infection.

An increase of 22% in complications in one year is disturbing and should be addressed by state medical officials. While PA does have safety laws in place for abortions, such as an ambulatory surgery center requirement (a law that came in response to Kermit Gosnell’s abortion death lab), perhaps state officials should conduct more inspections, or at least analyze the sources of the complication rise.

Bilger, of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation said, overall, abortions are probably down because education is up:

Women deserve to know the risks of abortion and their alternatives. Thanks to Pennsylvania pregnancy resources centers and our state Alternatives to Abortion program administered by Real Alternatives, Inc., more pregnant and parenting moms have access to this information and support.

Though 32,108 babies aren’t celebrating at the reduced abortion number, Pennsylvania is headed in the right direction thanks to new laws and decreased abortions.

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