by Steven Ertelt
December 26, 2005
Springfield, IL (LifeNews.com) — The number of abortions in Illinois has reached a 31 year low and continues to decline steadily. The latest figures from the state health department show 41,577 abortions in 2004, a two percent decrease from the 42,228 that were done in 2003.
In 1973, 32,760 abortions were performed in Illinois, and the number has never been that low since. Now, 2004 marks the second lowest total since that year when the Supreme Court handed down its landmark decision ushering in an era of virtually unlimited abortions.
As with previous years, more than half of all abortions in Illinois took place in Chicago’s Cook County.
According to the latest report, 92 percent of the abortions were performed on state residents and 75 percent were on women who were not married at the time.
Just under 60 percent of the women who had abortions were between the ages of 18 and 29 while almost 7 percent were 15-17.
Some 290 abortions were performed on girls 14 year-old and younger, implying that a significant number of abortions could be occurring on girls who have been victims of statutory rape. Officials in Kansas and Indiana are looking into abortions possibly performed on such girls from those states.
Pro-life groups say the drop in abortions in Illinois prove that abstinence education programs are succeeding. They also point to the work of crisis pregnancy centers which help women understand abortion’s risks and alternatives and provide practical help and assistance for women continuing a pregnancy.
Meanwhile, pro-abortion groups point to contraception and use of the morning after pill, which can sometimes cause an abortion, as helping lower the rates.
The highest number of Illinois abortions occurred in 1977, with 71,326 performed and state officials say there are three years for which data is not available. There were 46,945 abortions in 2002.
Related web sites:
Illinois 2004 Abortion Report –