South Dakota Abortions Continue Falling, Down 5.5%, Most for Birth Control

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 3, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

South Dakota Abortions Continue Falling, Down 5.5%, Most for Birth Control

by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 3
, 2008

Pierre, SD ( — The number of abortions done in South Dakota continues to fall, posting a decrease of 5.5 percent last year after dropping 7 percent the year before. Abortions declined to 707 in 2007 after there were 748 in 2006 — and both are down from the 805 abortions performed in 2005.

Abortions done on South Dakota residents decreased 3.8 percent, going from 633 in 2006 to 609 in 2007, according to the new figures from the South Dakota Department of Health.

That means 98 abortions were done on out-of-state residents at the state’s lone abortion business, run by Planned Parenthood in Sioux Falls. Looking at the numbers further, 54 Minnesota residents, 31 residents of Iowa and 13 residents of other states went to South Dakota for abortions.

The abortion rate per 1,000 births on South Dakota residents also declined from 53.1 percent in 2006 to 49.7 in 2007.
The decrease in the number of abortions likely confirms that the 2006 state law that requires abortion practitioners to give women information on fetal development continues to persuade women against having an abortion.

As in other states, most of the abortions (34.5 percent) were done on women between the ages of 20-24 or on women aged 25-29 (21.1 percent). Only 6.5 percent (46) of the abortions in South Dakota were done on girls under the age of 18.

Older women and teenagers younger than 20 were more likely to come to South Dakota from other states for abortions — likely to hide their abortion from friends or family.

In terms of the county of residence, some 277 women having abortions in South Dakota hailed from Minehaha county, by far the highest number with Pennington country having 79 women getting abortions. Dozens of counties saw no women getting abortions.

By city, 255 women from Sioux Falls, 69 women from Rapid City, and 23 women from Brookings got abortions with no other city seeing more than 20.

Some 80.3 percent of the abortions done in South Dakota were done on white women while another 8.2 percent were done on American Indian women, 6.5 percent on blacks and 5 percent on Asian women.

The state health department report showed 95.9 percent of all abortions performed in South Dakota were self-pay while 3.8 percent were paid by private insurance and 0.3 percent were paid by public health plans. Of the 29 abortions paid by private insurance or a public health plan, 8 were paid by a managed care insurance company, 20 by a fee-for-service insurance company, and the remaining one was from something else.

The report also showed the price of an abortion is on the rise.

The majority, 85.7 percent, of abortions in 2007 cost between $500 and $549. In 2003 and 2004, most abortions fell into the $450 to $499 category. In 2005, the majority of abortions fell into the $400 to $449 range.

Looking at previous pregnancies and abortions, the report shows that, of the women reporting in 2007, 43.7 percent reported having no living children.

The majority of women, 70.6 percent, reported that they had no previous induced abortions. In comparison, in 2007, 21.1 percent had obtained one previous induced abortion and 8.3 percent had obtained more than one previous induced abortion.

That means almost 30 percent of all abortions in South Dakota in 2007 were repeat abortions.

In 2006, 21.5 percent had one previous induced abortion while 8 percent had more than one previous induced abortion.

Women having abortions were asked about why they had the abortion and the South Dakota health department report gave women the chance to give one or more reason. It showed 83.2 percent said they "did not desire to have the child" and another 33.5 percent said they "could not afford the child."

Apart from those reasons of birth control, just 5.2 percent of women said their mental health was at risk from the pregnancy, only 1.7 percent said the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest, and only 1.7 percent said the pregnancy would cause major health problems for the mother.

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