Illinois pro-lifers are ending the year on a high note after the state announced that abortions fell to an historic low in 2014.
Abortions in Illinois declined for the sixth straight year in 2014, reaching the lowest number since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, according to data released on Dec. 22 by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
“What incredible news,” said Emily Zender, executive director of Illinois Right to Life, in an email. “We give everything we’ve got to protect unborn babies and their mothers. And guess what? It worked.”
In 2014, Illinois abortion facilities reportedly performed 38,472 abortions, a 5.6-percent drop from the 40,750 abortions in 2013, according to the state. That means 2,278 fewer babies were aborted in Illinois in 2014.
The most significant drop was abortion rates among girls under age 18. In 2014, the abortion rate for minors fell by almost 28 percent, or about 500 fewer abortions, according to the data.
“This decline on minors is due in large part to 2014 being the first full year that the Illinois Parental Notification Law was enforced,” Zender said. “This law encourages minors to tell their parents they are in an unplanned pregnancy instead of obtaining a secret abortion.”
Abortion advocates fought persistently against the Illinois Parental Notification Act of 1995, but after almost 20 years of legal battles, the law finally took effect in mid-2013. The law requires that a parent or guardian be notified at least 48 hours before a girl under the age of 18 has an abortion.
The Illinois Supreme Court ruled that the law could stand in 2013 after abortion advocates spent years challenging it in court.
Another significant drop in abortion numbers came from the two counties that historically have the highest rate of abortions. Cook County, where Chicago is located, and Dupage County saw a decline of 10 percent and 6.1 percent respectively, according to the state pro-life group.
“Let’s keep the momentum going into 2016 to save even more babies,” Zender said. “Illinois Right to Life will work tirelessly until the number of abortions in Illinois is zero.”