Pennsylvania Abortions Have Dropped More Than 50 Percent Since Their Record High in 1980

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jan 13, 2016   |   8:22PM   |   Harrisburg, PA

Pennsylvania was one of dozens of states to see record lows in the number of abortions in 2013.Though new data from the state Department of Health shows slightly higher abortion numbers in 2014, abortions in the Keystone State are still down more than 50 percent since the record high in 1980.

In 2014, 32,126 unborn babies lost their lives to abortion in Pennsylvania, up 18 from 2013, according to a new report from the Pennsylvania Department of Health. The 2014 total represents a 51.2 percent decrease from the record high number of 65,777 in 1980, the report states. The vast majority of the abortions in 2014 occurred in four counties: Allegheny, Dauphin, Northampton, and Philadelphia, according to the report.

Abortions continued to be disproportionately high in the African American community, with 42.9 percent of all abortions in Pennsylvania being done on black women, according to the data. White women had 49 percent of the abortions, while Hispanic women had 8.9 percent in 2014, the report states. More than 88 percent of all abortions in 2014 were to unmarried women, according to the data.

“Even a slight increase in the abortion totals is troubling,” said Maria Gallagher, legislative director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, the state affiliate of National Right to Life. “Eighteen more preborn children lost their lives to abortion in 2014, compared with the previous year. That’s nearly the equivalent of one kindergarten class.”

Gallagher attributed the dramatic decrease in abortions over the past few decades to a number of factors, including protective laws such as the Abortion Control Act, which provides for informed consent, parental consent, and 24-hour waiting periods for abortion.

The closing of abortion centers, the advent of 4D ultrasound technology, and the rise of social media have also had an effect in lowering abortion totals over the last decade, she said.

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“The abortion rate in Pennsylvania would also be much higher were it not for the state’s Alternatives to Abortion program, which is administered by Real Alternatives, Inc.,” Gallagher added. “This ground-breaking program provides women with comprehensive counseling and material aid so that women are fully supported during their pregnancies.

“Real Alternatives centers, along with other pro-life pregnancy help centers throughout the Commonwealth, are offering a much-needed lifeline to women and their families. Women can receive everything from diapers to day care referrals, and from mentoring to maternity clothes, thanks to these incredible centers.”

The news of an increase in abortions comes amid concerns about pro-abortion Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and his close connections to the Planned Parenthood abortion chain. After Wolf was elected, Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards called him the first governor in the history of the U.S. who volunteered to escort women to their abortions.

Wolf also appointed several abortion advocates to his administration, including a Planned Parenthood board member as his chief of staff and one of the abortion business’s leaders to his transition team.