Hurricane Katrina Causes Drop in Louisiana Abortions, But Numbers Rising Again

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 16, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Hurricane Katrina Causes Drop in Louisiana Abortions, But Numbers Rising Again

by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 16
, 2009

Baton Rouge, LA ( — Hurricane Katrina claimed 1,800 lives and could have been responsible for as many as 700 more deaths. However, in the aftermath of the storm, Louisiana saw its abortion numbers plummet as fewer people remained in the state and abortion centers in the New Orleans area closed.

The latest available abortion statistics for the state showed good news for pro-life advocates.

Abortions in Louisiana dropped from 11,224 in 2004 to 8,860 in 2005, a decline of 21 percent. Them, after Katrina, they dropped again from to 6,204 in 2006, another 24 percent reduction.

However, as the state recovers and rebuilds from the storm and attracts more residents, the abortion numbers are rising again. In 2007, the state saw 6,833 abortions, a 10.1 percent increase from the prior year.

Dr. Al Krotoski, the president of Hippocratic Resource, a statewide pro-life organization for physicians and pro-life medical workers, emailed about the figures.

"Although this is not necessarily the time of year to deal with this unpleasant subject, there is good news in regard to Louisiana," he said. "Since Hurricane Katrina’s visit in 2005, reported abortions in our state have dropped quite dramatically."

"This is an overall drop of 39% in abortions performed annually," he said about the overall stats, including the recent rise.

Speculating on the cause for the decline, Krotoski said, "The reasons for this are not entirely clear, but Katrina caused out-migration of the most abortion-susceptible population, as well as resultant closure of the most affected region’s abortion facilities."

Whatever the reason, "the decrease in total numbers is a great Christmas present for Louisiana, one that we hope will remain in place."

Part of the reason for the drop in abortions likely has to do with the pro-life legislation the state has produced over the years.

In July 2007, Louisiana became the first state to ban partial-birth abortions following a ruling from the Supreme Court saying a national ban on the gruesome abortion procedure is constitutional.

The bill would prohibit more than 300 such abortions that are done in the state on an annual basis.

The language of the ban is similar to the federal prohibition but state lawmakers said Louisiana needed it because it would help guide state officials and prosecutors in enforcing it there.

The state has also sold Choose Life license plates, and the proceeds from the sales of the plates go to pregnancy centers that help women find abortion alternatives.

Related web sites:
Hippocratic Resource –

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