Kansas Abortions Continue to Decline, Down 10% Since 1996

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 29, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Kansas Abortions Continue to Decline, Down 10% Since 1996

by Paul Nowak
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
June 29, 2004

Topeka, KS (LifeNews.com) — The number of abortions performed on Kansas women has declined 10% since 1996, according to a report from the Department of Health and Environment.

In 2003, 11,697 abortions were performed in Kansas – 6,163 on Kansas women, and 5,534 on women from other states. Between 2002 and 2003 alone, the number of abortions performed after 22 weeks of pregnancy dropped almost 13 percent, from 564 in 2002 to 491 in 2003.

According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, the research division of Planned Parenthood, a more drastic decline has occurred in the number of abortion businesses in Kansas. In 1977 there were 26 abortion facilities, in 1996 there were 10, and today there are only seven.

Don Haider-Markel, a Kansas University associate professor of political science, told the Lawrence Jorunal-World he believes public opinion on abortion hasn’t change much, and the trend is most likely caused by greater availability of birth-control and the morning-after pill.

Mary Kay Culp, executive director of Kansans for Life, disagrees.

"Polls show that more and more teens are pro-life," Culp said, citing a recent UCLA study that found 55 percent of freshmen at over 400 schools said abortion should be legal, as supposed to 64 percent who thought it should be legal a decade ago.

Culp added that the 1997 passage of the Kansas Women’s Right to Know Act is most likely also a factor in the abortion reduction.

The law requires abortion practitioners to provide women with accurate information prior to an abortion including pictures of fetal development, possible psychological and physical effects from abortion, and a listing of Kansas centers that help women in need.

"With one booklet reflecting updated research on abortion’s possible mental and physical aftereffects, like the increased risk of premature birth in subsequent pregnancies, and the other booklet offering more support groups than ever, we expect the rate of abortion in Kansas to fall further still," added Culp.

"We also expect the Kansas legislature to back our efforts [to update the literature] because in this way abortions will be reduced, not because of a decision imposed from the outside, but from an informed decision by her."

Other abortion information from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment includes the fact that 81 percent of the women receiving abortions were unmarried, 41 percent had no children, 26 percent had one child, and just over 1 percent had five or more children.

Young adults, 20 to 29 years old made up 58 percent of the abortion patients, and 78 abortions were performed on girls under the age of 15.

Related Sites:
Kansans for Life – https://www.kfl.org