The state of Michigan reported an increase in the number of abortions in 2014, a trend that runs contrary to the historically low abortion rates being reported across the U.S.
A total of 27,629 abortions were reported in Michigan in 2014, a 5.8 percent increase from 2013, according to the annual report from the Michigan Department of Community Health.
Most of the country is seeing abortion drop to historic lows since Roe v. Wade, and although the Michigan numbers went up in 2014, they are significantly lower than what they once were. The 2014 total represents a 43.7 percent decrease in the number of unborn babies who were aborted since 1987, according to Right to Life of Michigan.
“No matter what the procedure or where the mothers come from to have an abortion, we are deeply saddened by the loss of precious lives. While the overall trend of decreasing abortions is encouraging, this year’s increase and the annual overall numbers serve as a reminder that our pro-life efforts must continue – lives depend on us,” the Michigan pro-life group said in a statement.
The online news website Michigan Live reports that pro-life and abortion advocates both say the numbers could be up because of a 2012 Michigan law that tightened the penalties for abortion clinics that fail to report their abortion numbers.
Genevieve Marnon of Right to Life of Michigan told the news site that some abortion facilities were not reporting their abortion numbers to the state, but the new law changed that. She said they anticipated an increase this year because of previous underreporting.
“The state never reported abortions performed in Muskegon,” even though there was an abortion facility there, Marnon said.
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The Muskegon abortion facility, Women’s Medical Clinic, closed after the new law went into effect, according to the news site. Fifteen other abortion clinics also closed, the news report states.
“Some of the worst practitioners went out of business, and we’re convinced they weren’t reporting the abortions they were doing,” Marnon said. “Now women are going to other clinics and the numbers are more accurate.”
The report also indicates that more women are traveling from other states to Michigan for abortions. The number of out-of-state abortion patients almost doubled in just the past year, from 708 in 2013 to 1,308 in 2014, according to the report.
In 2014, the trend of declining abortions committed on girls under the age of 18 continued, according to Right to Life of Michigan. In 1990, 3,820 abortions on minors were reported. The reported figure for 2014 is 917. This represents a 76 percent decrease since 1990.
Chemical abortions also went up significantly, reflecting a national trend. In 2014, 6,935 chemical abortions were committed which is up from the 5,103 committed in 2013, according to the report.