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Akron Beacon Journal
Abortions fall to historic low in Ohio
By Rick Armon
Beacon Journal staff writer

November 27, 2012 

Ohio women are having fewer abortions in the state. 

Induced abortions dropped 12 percent last year, hitting an all-time low since the Ohio Department of Health started tracking them more than 35 years ago 

There were 23,250 abortions by state residents in Ohio last year, compared with 26,322 the previous year, according to the latest statistics released by the state. Overall, there were 24,764 abortions when out-of-state residents are included. 

Abortions have fallen in Ohio each year since 2000. The one-year decline was the largest such dip in nearly 20 years. Abortions peaked at more than 45,000 in 1982. 

Experts attribute the ongoing slide to a variety of factors, including increased use of birth control, better access to health care and improved health education. The number of overall Ohio births also has fallen 16.5 percent from 1990 to 2010. 

“Regardless of where you fall on the issue, if you’re pro-choice or pro-life, less abortions, I think we can all agree, is a good thing,” said Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life in Columbus. 

But the health department report includes a puzzling statistic. Medical abortions — those involving medication as opposed to surgery — fell from 5,862 to 1,234 last year. 

State researchers don’t know whether women shifted to other procedures or doctors possibly underreported those abortions. 

There may be another, misleading reason, experts said, for the big one-year drop: Women opting to leave Ohio for an abortion. 

The decline follows a state law that took effect early last year and bars the use of the drug, RU-486, unless it is administered in compliance with Federal Drug Administration rules. 

The law forbids doctors from prescribing the RU-486 pill more than seven weeks into a pregnancy and regulates the dosage of the pill. The change increased possible side effects, boosted the cost of a medical abortion and may have driven some women out of state, said Rachel Jones, senior research associate at the Guttmacher Institute, a New York research organization that compiles reproductive health data. 

Read the rest of the article at the Akron Beacon Journal


 
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