Illinois Abortions Drop to 37-Year Low, Down 9 Percent

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 25, 2012   |   1:16PM   |   Springfield, IL

Abortions in Illinois have dropped 9 percent in 2010 from the prior year and the state health department indicates they are now at a 37-year low. Abortions are expected to drop further now that Rockford’s abortion business has closed.

The Illinois Department of Public Health indicates 41,859 abortions were done on women and children in Illinois in 2010 — which is the lowest recorded total since the Supreme Court made virtually all abortions legal in Roe v. Wade in 1973, when 32,760 abortions were done in the state.

Planned Parenthood of Illinois President Carole Brite told the Chicago Sun Times she is glad abortions have declined but doesn’t know why they have decreased, though she speculated contraception may have been responsible — however she cited no figures to back up the claim.

Bill Beckman of the Illinois Right to Life Committee told the newspaper he thinks the abortion decline might be represented in the shift in public opinion towards the pro-life position that has occurred over the last several years.

“Certainly it seems like the level of people willing to be active in some way or another could be seen as increasing,” he said. “I think that overall, just the public mind-set of abortion is changing and that’s having an impact on people being more reluctant to make that choice.”

According to the Times:  “The 2010 figure was down from 46,077 in 2009, a 9 percent decrease, state records showed. Procedures in Cook County decreased 1,356, from 25,196 in 2009 to 23,840 in 2010. The number of abortions for non-Illinois residents decreased from 3,624 to 3,050. Abortions among Illinois minors — age 17 and under — dropped from 2,991 to 2,725.”

The number of abortions on teenage girls in the state could decline further if the state ever enforces a 1995 parental involvement law that has been tied up in court.

Tom Schafer, deputy director of the state’s Office of Health Promotion, told the newspaper the state counts abortions at 26 abortion facilities and those done by 95 and 140 individual physicians, who may not always report to the state. The state’s abortion figures may also be lower than the actual number as the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, which works more closely with abortion businesses and abortion practitioners, shows 54,920 abortions in Illinois in 2008 while the state’s health department recorded 47,717.

The abortion business in Rockford, Illinois has been closed down permanently after recently reopening following an agreement with the state after violations it engaged in that caused its closing temporarily late last year.

Earlier this month, the Northern Illinois Women’s Center in Rockford closed after having its license suspended by the Illinois Department of Health after failing an inspection following up on previous violations state officials found in June. The state told the abortion business it needed a plan of correction and, despite the plan, the corrections had not been sufficiently made and health inspectors still found numerous violations.

Department of Public Health officials gave the abortion center a three-page report of deficiencies on September 29 signed by Damon T. Arnold, the director of the state department. The notice says officials “found conditions at (the Northern Illinois Women’s Center) that are directly threatening to the public interest, health, safety and welfare requiring immediate, emergency action.”