Alaska Abortion Numbers Up Big in 2009, Teen Abortions Down, 39% Tax-Funded

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 2, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Alaska Abortion Numbers Up Big in 2009, Teen Abortions Down, 39% Tax-Funded

by Joel Davidson
March 2, 2010 Note: This article originally appeared in the Catholic Anchor newspaper and is reproduced here with permission.

Juneau, AK ( — The number of abortions in Alaska increased for the third straight year, according to the annual report from the Alaska Bureau of Vital Statistics. The bureau’s figures are based on reports from abortion practitioners across the state.

In 2009, there were 1,875 reported abortions, up from 1,759 in 2008 and 1,701 in 2007.

Teens, ages 15-19, accounted for 326 abortions last year — 17 percent overall. That represents a slight drop from previous years. Additionally, seven abortions were performed on girls younger than 15.

Since the state began reporting abortion statistics in 2003, teens have accounted for nearly 20 percent of the overall number. During those seven years, total abortions performed on girls age 19 or younger stands at 2,575.

A total of 12,961 abortions have been reported in Alaska since 2003.

According to the new state report, 1,862 abortions occurred last year between the first week and the fourth month of pregnancy. Three others occurred in the fifth month and 10 were performed at a point “not stated” by abortion practitioners.

The state report noted that 39 percent of last year’s abortions were paid for by public Medicaid funds. Since 2003, Medicaid has paid for 4,847 abortions in Alaska.

Also, the report noted that only 42 percent of women received a copy of the information contained in the “informed consent” Web site, which state law requires the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services to maintain. That is down from 55 percent who reportedly received the information a year ago. The Web site — which contains information on fetal development, abortion, adoption, pregnancy and childbirth — is located at

The law requires abortion practitioners or a member of their staff to provide “a copy of the Internet information if a person requests a written copy” or to provide information about the risks of undergoing an abortion that “a reasonable patient” would consider important to making an informed decision.

Suction curettage was the most common method of abortion last year. According to the report 72 percent were done in this manner, which entails inserting a hollow tube in to the uterus and pumping the unborn life from the womb.

The high-powered drug combination RU-486 was the second most common abortion procedure in 2009. This process involves an initial drug that causes the placenta to detach from the uterine wall and two days later a second drug induces contractions and expels the developing life.

For a complete copy of the state report, visit and scroll down to “ITOP Annual Report.”

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