The number of abortions in Tennessee has fallen four percent, mirroring the five percent decline seen in the new report issued last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Tennessean newspaper reported on the drop in abortions:
Tennessee mirrored the nation in the declining abortion trend. Nationally, abortion rates that had remained steady for several years dropped 5 percent to an all-time low in 2009, according to the data released last week.
In Tennessee, the number of abortions fell 4 percent from 2008 to 2009 – from 18,253 to 17,474 – after several years in which they climbed slightly.
But Tennessee remained a standout as a destination for abortions, with 23 percent of all abortions performed here in 2009 sought by women who lived elsewhere. Only three other states and the District of Columbia saw a larger share.
A Tennessean special report, Abortion in Tennessee, chronicled the changes in the abortion landscape of the South in the past decade that transformed Tennessee into a large abortion provider.
As neighboring states enacted increasing abortion restrictions – rules such as waiting periods or mandatory ultrasounds – clinics in those states closed and Tennessee abortion clinics served more women from out of state, some advertising discount specials for out-of-towners to cover the cost of gas.
In 2014, driven by a decade of activism by pro-life advocates, Tennessee voters will decide whether to amend the constitution to strip away the abortion protections that have made Tennessee a standout state for abortion rights in an increasingly abortion-hostile South.
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Changes are already under way that could affect Tennessee’s future as an abortion-friendly state.
In August, the Volunteer Women’s Medical Center in Knoxville closed after 38 years, citing a new state law that requires doctors to hold admitting privileges at local hospitals.
Tennessee Right to Life commented on the new figures in an email to LifeNews.
“Tennessee is a strongly pro-life state and we’re grateful that the number of Tennesseans choosing abortion continues to decline,” said Karen Brukardt, legislative liaison for Tennessee Right to Life. “Still, due to radical court rulings claiming a so-called “right to abortion” in our state Constitution, Tennesseans remain unable to enforce even the most basic protections for abortion-vulnerable women and families in our state. We look forward to a public vote in 2014 which will allow us to again pass laws to lower the abortion numbers even more dramatically in Tennessee.”