Illinois Abortions Increase 5 Percent in 2008 After New Aurora Planned Parenthood

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 3, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Illinois Abortions Increase 5 Percent in 2008 After New Aurora Planned Parenthood

by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 3
, 2010

Springfield, IL ( — The number of abortions done in Illinois in 2008 rose 5 percent from the year before, according to new figures from the state health department.

A top Planned Parenthood official cited the economic downturn as the reason for the abortion increase but, because Illinois does not have the same kind of pro-life laws as most other states, abortions have not seen a similar decline over the years.

The state Department of Public Health reported 47,717 abortions in 2008, the latest year for which it has figures.That is a 5 percent uptick from 2007 and the highest recorded abortion total in 10 years.

Though the figure is lower than the 1998 stat of 49,403 unborn children killed in abortions, most other states saw abortions decline at higher rates in the late 1990s and during the current decade.

Steve Trombley, head of Planned Parenthood in the Chicago area, suggested the economic decline is responsible for the higher abortion figures.

"When couples are facing an unintended pregnancy and have to make a decision whether they want to carry a pregnancy to term and have another child, they’ll factor economic circumstance into the decision," Trombley told the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper. "If one or both parents is unemployed, it’s less likely couples are going to want to expand their family size."

Local pro-life advocates suggest the increase in abortions comes as a direct result of the new abortion center Planned Parenthood and Trombley opened in Aurora in 2007.

Planned Parenthood would not provide its abortion numbers to the newspaper, but the numbers from the state health department saw abortions jump in the counties in and around Aurora. There was a 73 percent jump in abortions for women in Kendall County, a 38 percent increase in Kane County, and a 22 percent increase in Will county. Increases in those counties accounted for 25 percent of the increase statewide.

Robert Gilligan, executive director of the Catholic Conference of Illinois, suggested the new abortion center was responsible for much of the increase.

"I think that has something to do with it," Gilligan said.

He also told the Sun-Times he blames the lack of pro-life laws such as parental notification, allowing women to view an ultrasound before an abortion, and other laws that limit abortions until Roe v. Wade can be overturned. The passage of such laws in states like Michigan, Missouri, South Carolina and elsewhere has prompted abortion declines by as much as 50 percent.

To underscore Gilligan’s point, girls 14 and under saw the largest increase in abortions from 2007 to 2008, up 16 percent. Women 20 to 24 had the next-largest percentage increase.

"We refuse to do any of those things, which helps to drive the numbers up, and secondly, we’ve increased access," Gilligan said.

Sign Up for Free Pro-Life News From

Daily Pro-Life News Report Twice-Weekly Pro-Life
News Report
Receive a free daily email report from with the latest pro-life news stories on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here. Receive a free twice-weekly email report with the latest pro-life news headlines on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here.