Ohio Abortions Decline to Historic Low, Largest Drop in 20 Years

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 27, 2012   |   5:27PM   |   Columbus, OH

The number of abortions in Ohio have dropped to historic lows and the decline in the abortion numbers from 2010 to 2011, according to the state health department, is the biggest drop in 20 years.

Abortions declined 12 percent in Ohio in the most recent year for which public data is available.

“A total of 24,764 induced pregnancy terminations were reported in Ohio for 2011, including 23,250 for Ohio residents (93.9%),” the health department reported. “The total number of abortions performed in Ohio has declined annually since 2000. There were 3,359 fewer reported terminations in 2011 compared to 2010, which represents a 12% decline in that period.”

Not only are the overall number of abortions dropping, but the number of abortions using the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug is on a downward trend as well.

“That decline is larger in magnitude than we have seen in recent years. The decline in medical nonsurgical procedures figures into the overall drop in abortions in 2011,” the state reported.

“Regardless of where you fall on the issue, if you’re pro-choice or pro-life, less abortions, I think we can all agree, is a good thing,” said Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life in Columbus.

The state health department provided more information about the status of legalized abortion in Ohio:



Approximately one sixth of women who obtained abortions were under 20 years of age, with another third between the ages of 20-24 years of age. The age distribution of women obtaining abortions has remained fairly unchanged since 1994. Approximately 86% of women who obtained an abortion were never married, divorced, or widowed. 14% of procedures were obtained by married or separated women. The marital status distribution has remained constant since 1994. Fifty-seven percent of resident women who obtained abortions and for whom race was reported were White, 39% were African American, and 3% were other races. Four percent of abortions were obtained by women of Hispanic origin.

The 2011 Ohio abortion rate was 11.1 per 1,000 women ages 15-44 years (figure 4). The most recent comparable rate for the US was higher at 16 per 1,000 women (year 2008). The 2011 Ohio abortion ratio was 181 abortions per 1,000 live births, down from 190 in 2010. Ohio’s abortion ratio is also lower than the 2008 US abortion ratio of 234 abortions per 1,000 live births.

Over half of all induced abortions involved pregnancies of less than 9 weeks (57%), with approximately 28% involving pregnancies of 9-12 weeks (figure 2). The proportion involving abortions of less than 9 weeks increased from 42% in 1995, while the proportion between 9 and 12 weeks declined from 40% to 28%. There were 525 abortions involving pregnancies of 20 or more weeks, a number that decreased from 915 in 1997. The vast majority of reported abortions were obtained in six major metropolitan areas of Ohio.

We experienced a large decline in medical/non-surgical procedures between 2010 and 2011 (5,862 down to 1,234). We are not sure if this decline represents a shift to other procedures or if it represents under-reporting of abortions among providers who provide this type of abortion care.