Penn. Media Take Eight Months to Report Abortion Stats

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 1, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Penn. Media Take Eight Months to Report Abortion Stats

by Maria Gallagher Staff Writer
September 1, 2003

Washington, DC ( — One of the nation’s leading newspapers claims Pennsylvania is stumped by a rise in the state’s abortion rate. But pro-life advocates are wondering why it’s taken so long for the Philadelphia Inquirer to notice the uptick in abortion numbers.

Last week, the Inquirer ran a story headlined, "PA. stumped as abortions keep rising." The problem is, the article was nearly eight months late. The Pennsylvania Department of Health released the 2001 abortion figures in January.

The Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation sent a news release shortly thereafter to all major media about the latest figures, but the Inquirer did not report on the statistics until last week.

In a written statement, the Federation said, "This turn of events shows how difficult it is to get accurate information about abortion to the public in a timely manner. Unfortunately, news about abortion is often hidden from the general public. Pennsylvanians have a right to know about the daily death toll from abortion in their state."

In 2001, some 36,820 abortions were performed in Pennsylvania, an increase of 3.3% over the previous year’s totals. The year 2001 marked the second year in a row in which the state’s abortion rate rose.

The Federation attributes the increase to the fact that the abortion industry appears to be targeting Pennsylvania. Specifically, Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion operation, opened a new abortion center in Bucks County, causing abortions there to rise from 60 in 1999 to 837 in 2001.

The President of Planned Parenthood of Bucks County, Linda Hahn, told the Inquirer, "It’s my great hope that this is a fluke and that the numbers go down."

But pro-life advocates are skeptical of such remarks, given Planned Parenthood’s history of promoting abortions. Abortions at Planned Parenthood facilities vastly outnumber adoption referrals, undermining the organization’s claims that it does not try to persuade women to have abortions.

Meanwhile, the director of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference’s Social Concerns Department, Francis J. Viglietta, said pro-life organizations need to focus on education and outreach to reduce the number of abortions in Pennsylvania.

"We’re trying to identify areas that need to be addressed. I think pro-life groups want to have more of a presence on college campuses," Viglietta said.

The Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation has begun a college initiative program in an effort to help pro-life students organize and become active on their campuses. Any Pennsylvania college student interested in becoming involved in the effort can contact the Federation at 717-541-0034.

Related web sites:
Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation –