Recently, the Arizona Department of Health Services released its annual abortion report showing that 501 fewer abortions were performed in Arizona in 2014 as compared to 2013, a decrease of 3.7%! Since the new abortion reporting requirements took effect in late 2010, Arizona has seen a drop in the abortion rate by 10.4% or 1,500 fewer abortions in 2014 compared to 2011.
Why the Numbers Have Decreased
- In 2008, Arizonans holding pro-life views registered to vote in record numbers. Those values voters then voted into office pro-life legislators and in 2009 pro-life Secretary of State Jan Brewer became Governor. Between 2009 and 2014, Gov. Brewer signed into law 24 life-saving measures directly leading to the reduction in the abortion rate. When concerned citizens vote their life values, those votes lead to saved lives – both of preborn children and their mothers.
- Our state, along with the rest of the country, increasingly is pro-life. Everyone knows a woman who was hurt by an abortion. Most have seen an ultrasound picture of a preborn child as early as 8-10 weeks. Ultrasound pictures clearly show the preborn child is just that – a preborn baby. One can no longer deny the truth about the humanity of the preborn child or that abortion hurts women.
What the Numbers Tell Us:
- Elective, Not Therapeutic. Almost 99% of the abortions in 2014 were elective, meaning they were not performed because the life or health of the woman was endangered.
- Abortion Hurts Women. 137 women experienced complications resulting from an abortion in 2014, an increase of 35 from the 2013 report.
- Age matters. Women in their 20’s accounted for 59% of all abortions performed, with almost 33% of the abortions being performed on women ages 20-24.
- Surgical Abortion is the Preferred Method. Surgical abortions accounted for 72% and medication abortions 28% of all abortions. About 29% of the surgical abortions were done by the D&E method which requires the abortionist to tear apart the baby limb by limb.
- Late Term Abortions. 132 abortions were performed on babies after 20 weeks, near the point of viability meaning the preborn might survive outside the womb. Women having abortions after 20 weeks had a higher complication rate than women having abortions before 20 weeks.
- Repeat Abortions. Thirty-six percent of women report having had one or more prior abortions.
- March is a Key Month. In every year since 2011, the highest number of abortions occur in the month of March.
- Parental Consent. Of the 61 petitions filed for a minor to have an abortion without parental consent, 45 were granted.
How Do We Respond to the Numbers – What’s Next:
Our CAP Policy Team will continue to analyze these numbers to see what they tell us about how to best protect preborn children and their mothers from the dangerous and deadly practices of the abortion industry.
At a minimum, we know that pro-life efforts should focus as follows:
- Focus first on women in their 20’s as the age group most likely to choose an abortion.
- Increase efforts to reach abortion-minded women in the month of March when the highest number of abortions are performed.
- Highlight the harms to women having abortions post 20 weeks.
- Emphasize over and over again that women are having abortions for elective reasons, not for life or health reasons. Yet abortion not only takes the life of their preborn child but hurts women in multiple ways.
- Increase support for pregnancy resource centers to meet the needs of abortion-minded women, especially those having repeat abortions.