Illinois abortion rates at an all time low since abortion was legalized. Photo via Jason Eppink.
Both anti-abortion groups and Planned Parenthood are trying to take credit for Illinois’ stark decline in abortions over the last few years. Between 2009 and 2010, abortion rates in Illinois were the lowest since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized access to safe abortions back in 1973.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, once Roe v. Wade determined that states could not outlaw abortions, abortions in Illinois immediately increased over the following years. Statistics are faulty in the 80s and 90s however, because Illinois issued a restraining order against abortion reporting. Mandatory reporting began again in the mid-nineties but took a few years for abortion facilities to become fully compliant.
Between 2009 and 2010, reporting is believed to as accurate as possible by the Illinois Department of Public Health, showing abortion rates dropping about 9%.
The President of Planned Parenthood, Carole Brite, believes the drastic reduction in abortion rates is due to the organizations advocation of contraception and programs which distribute free birth control.
The Right to Life Committee sees it differently. They believe public awareness and rallies have made an impact on people.
Bill Beckman, executive director of the Illinois Right to Life said:
“I think that overall, just the public mind-set of abortion is changing and that’s having an impact on people being more reluctant to make that choice.”
It is unknown whether this trend coincides with other states abortion rates since all states track abortion differently and a national comparison of data has yet to be analyzed comparing current data.
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