Wisconsin Abortions Decrease in 2002
by Steven Ertelt
August 31, 2003
Madison, WI (LifeNews.com) — Pro-life advocates in Wisconsin have reason to celebrate as recent numbers from the state show a drop in the number of abortions from 2001 to 2002.
According to a Department of Health and Family Services report released Friday, there were 436 fewer abortions last year than in 2001. Wisconsin officials reported 10,489 induced abortions in 2002, down from 10,925 in 2001. The abortion rate remained the same, and is lower than the national average.
Wisconsin Right to Life executive director Barbara Lyons was excited to hear of the decline.
"The newly released Wisconsin abortion numbers for 2002 signify a bright future for Wisconsin women and their children," Lyons said. "We applaud women who make a decision for life."
Abortions in Wisconsin have been on the decline every year since 1996 and there are approximately 3,200 fewer abortions per year now than in 1996. The number of abortions has plummeted since the 1980s and both the abortion numbers and rate are half of what they were then.
As in other states, most abortions occurred on women in their late teens or early 20’s — pointing to the continued need to reach out to college-aged women.
Women between the ages of 20 and 24 accounted for 34 percent of reported induced abortions in 2002, the report said. Women between the ages of 18 and 19 accounted for 12 percent.
Younger teenagers accounted for 710 abortions last year.
Wisconsin law requires at least one parent to provide written permission for a teenage girl to have an abortion, and it was provided in 632 of the cases last year. Courts granted waivers in the other cases.
The pro-life law, passed in 1999, is credited with reducing the number of abortions performed on teens.
According to the report, 68 percent of abortions were done on white women, 24 percent on black women, 7 percent on Hispanics, 1 percent by American Indian women and 5 percent by Asian/Pacific Islander women. Ninety-eight percent of the women were Wisconsin residents.
Fifty-seven percent of reported induced abortions last year were obtained during the first eight weeks of pregnancy, the report said.
"Abortion hurts women and destroys children. Wisconsin Right to
Life is elated that 436 fewer mothers have to face a lifetime of
emotional pain, and 436 more babies have the opportunity to achieve their individual destinies," Lyons concluded.