Ohio Abortion Numbers Decline for 10th Year, Hit Record Low

State   Steven Ertelt   Sep 30, 2011   |   10:51AM    Columbus, OH

New statistics from the state of Ohio show the number of abortions there have declined for the 10th straight year — showing the combination of effective pro-life education, legislation and help for pregnant women works.

Ohio abortions have reached an all-time low according to the latest report released by the Ohio Department of Health. The health department’s 2010 Abortion Report revealed a decrease of approximately 600 abortions from 2009 for a state total of 28,123 abortions performed in 2010.

The new statistics show that abortions in Ohio have declined a total of 26% since the year 2000.  Since 1982, when reported abortions peaked at their all-time high, the number of abortions in Ohio has decreased by nearly 40%.

“During the past decade, more and more women and families chose life in Ohio,” Ohio Right to Life director Mike Gonidakis told LifeNews. “While we will not rest until the number of reported abortions is zero, each year these statistics reaffirm our statewide pro-life strategies which focus on supporting young women through our pregnancy centers, promoting adoption and identifying common sense legislative solutions to end abortion.  Moms are being protected, more babies are alive today and we can all agree that this is good public policy.”

Gonidakis said “Ohio Right to Life will continue enacting a targeted, truthful and compassionate educational approach for young women and men to combat the manipulative marketing campaigns of Planned Parenthood.”

The new health department report shows the majority of abortions taking place in Ohio occur in the metropolitan areas of Cuyahoga County at 36.8%, Franklin at 19.2%, and Hamilton at 17.8%. A majority of abortions are done on women younger than 24 years old and 37.1% are done on black women even though just 12.2 percent of Ohio’s population is black.

Some 56.6% of all Ohio abortions take place during the first 9 weeks of pregnancy and 83% are performed upon women who are unmarried.

The Ohio Right to Life director says a new law the state’s pro-life governor signed will likely drive down the number of abortions further.

“In July, Governor John Kasich signed our late-term abortion ban.  Had this law been enacted last year, up to 629 more babies could be alive in Ohio today.  No longer will babies who can live outside their mother’s womb be put to death in Ohio,” said Gonidakis.

The new abortion figures come as the Ohio state legislature is debating a measure called the Heartbeat Bill, which would ban abortions at the point when a unborn child’s heart starts to beat. At 22 days into pregnancy, before most women know they are pregnant, unborn children complete the development of their heart to the point that a heartbeat begins and the bill, supported by the pro-life group Faith2Action, Operation Rescue, Life Issues Institute and other pro-life groups, would stop abortions at that point. The Ohio legislature took up the legislation this year and it received a legislative committee hearing and an approving vote from the state House.

The House, led by Republicans, voted 54-43 for the abortion ban, which now faces less certain prospects in the state Senate. With the Ohio Senate returning to its legislative session, Faith2Action organized a rally with other supportive organizations.

Some pro-life groups are not on board with the legislation, not because they oppose banning abortions but out of a concern that it will be struck down in court if passed, since the Supreme Court is currently dominated by at least a 5-4 pro-abortion majority. As a result, the legislation would be struck down in court and the ruling would add to the case law that supports Roe vs. Wade. Such groups are working to change the courts so Roe can be overturned and legislation like the Heartbeat bill or others could be approved to provide legal protection for unborn children.