by Steven Ertelt
March 30, 2008
Topeka, KS (LifeNews.com) — New figures from Kansas show the number of abortions dropped slightly in 2007, although about half of the abortions are still done on women from out-of-state. One pro-life advocate says the abortion totals declined in part because late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller had to shut down his center for a short time.
In 2007, the state health department reports 10,836 abortions and also reported late-term abortions dropped by 23 percent and abortions done on viable unborn babies dropped 28 percent.
Cheryl Sullenger of Operation Rescue says the periodic closing of Tiller’s abortion center helped push both late-term abortions and the overall number of abortions lower.
"It should have been noted that the drop in abortion rates was very much expected due to Tiller having closed his abortion mill for 38 days last summer," she told LifeNews.com in an email.
During that time, Tiller referred women seeking late-term abortions to Warren Hern in Denver and first-trimester abortions to a facility in neighboring Oklahoma.
"At that time he had just been charged with 19 criminal counts — something he did not expect" from the state attorney general’s office.
Sullenger also noted the internal shake-up of staff at the abortion center, which probably made it more difficult for Tiller to schedule the maximum number of abortions he could have done during the year even when he was open.
Kansas abortions dropped four years in a row to 2005, which experienced a decline of 8 percent from the previous year. They rose again slightly in 2006 but declined again in 2007.
Sullenger says the small uptick in abortions in 2006 was likely because of the closure of an abortion center in Springfield, Missouri and a short-term rise in the number of abortions done at the Planned Parenthood abortion business in Overland Park, Kansas.
The proximity of that center to Kansas City, Missouri and Tiller’s status as one of the few late-term abortion practitioners in the nation accounts for the high number of out-of-state residents coming to Kansas for abortions. Most other states see most abortions done on in-state residents.
Looking more at the new abortion stats in Kansas, most of the abortions are done on women between the ages of 20 and 29 who are white and single.