South Dakota Report Shows Abortions Down 7%, New Ban Covers 98%

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 21, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

South Dakota Report Shows Abortions Down 7%, New Ban Covers 98% Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 21,

Pierre, SD ( — A new report from the South Dakota health department shows that abortions decreased seven percent in 2006 from their 2005 figures. The decrease could possible be attributed to the statewide debate on an abortion ban as pro-life advocates talked about how abortion kills unborn children and hurts women.

There were 748 abortions performed in South Dakota in 2006, down from the 805 abortions performed in 2005, the state reported.

Pro-life advocates in South Dakota have put forward a second effort to ban abortions there and added rape and incest exceptions to the ban after the first one, with just a life of the mother exception, failed at the ballot box.

The South Dakota Department of Health reported that just 1.9 percent of all abortions there in 2006 involved threats to the mother’s life or rape or incest as a reason for the abortion. That means the new ban would prohibit about 98 percent of all abortions in the state if it becomes law.

Women were given multiple choices for the reason for the abortion and 85 percent involved the mother not wanting a baby at the time and another 21 percent involved the mother not having the financial means to have a child.

The number of abortions to protect the woman’s life or for reasons of sexual abuse have dropped over the years.

The health department also reported on the effect of a state law that requires abortion practitioners to give women information on fetal development.

A total of 1,016 women visited the abortion center in South Dakota and 748 (73.6 percent) of the women went on to have an abortion while 268 women (26.3 percent) decided against it.

Of the 748 abortions performed in South Dakota, 633 or 84.6 percent were performed on South Dakota residents.

With the state’s only abortion business located in Sioux Falls, Minnesota women accounted for 66 abortions, Iowa women for 42 and seven women from other states went there for abortions.

Local residents accounted for 262 of the abortions and women from across the state accounted for the rest, with Rapid City and Brookings having the next highest number of women obtaining abortions.

Women aged 20-24 comprise the largest percentage of the induced abortions which occurred in South Dakota with 38.8 percent of the abortions. Women ages 25-29 comprise the next largest percent with 21.0 percent. Teenagers up to age 19 accounted for 16.6 percent of all abortions.

About 84 percent of the abortions were done on white women, 7.2 percent on American Indians and 8.8 percent on women of other ethnic groups.

Some 70 percent of the women getting abortions in South Dakota had never had an abortion before, 21.5 percent had obtained one previous abortion and 8 percent had obtained more than one previous abortion.

Most abortions occurred during the early parts of pregnancy and just 15 abortions took place at 14 or more weeks into the pregnancy. Almost 14 percent of women having abortions were given the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug that has killed 13 women worldwide and injured more than 1,100 in the United States alone.

Sixteen abortions involved unborn children with supposed physical abnormalities.

The majority, 85 percent, of abortions in 2006 cost between $500 to $549 and costs have been rising over the last several years.