Abortions were down a dramatic 10 percent in the Chicago area during 2014, according to recently released statistics from the Illinois Department of Public Health, the lowest number in over ten years.
There were 21,511 abortions performed in Cook County, down from 23,896 in 2013, or 2,385 fewer abortions. This historic low also coincides with the first year Vitae Foundation entered the Chicago market with digital marketing strategies that led to massive increases in traffic to Pregnancy Help Centers (PHCs) there. Vitae collaborates with about 20 percent of Illinois PHCs, most are located in Chicago.
“If you know Vitae, then you know that we are all about Right Brain research and messaging that truly understands the abortion-minded woman. We take that knowledge and implement it in digital strategies and websites for PHCs so that when women click on those sites, they ultimately click or call for that appointment. The goal is to get women who believe they only have one option—abortion—into a PHC that offers many options to someone who is pregnant and doesn’t want to be,” Vitae President Rob Rysavy said.
This increase was so significant that Chicago’s largest network of pregnancy centers, Aid for Women, opened their 2014 Annual Report with the news that “Visits to our five centers were up 66% and calls to our crisis pregnancy helpline were up 50%.” Their centers were extremely busy that year thanks to Vitae’s digital marketing strategies “which helped strengthen our Internet presence.”
Aid for Women Executive Director Susan Barrett said that without the support of Vitae, they would not have been able to make as strong an impact in the Chicago area during 2014.
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“It was noticeable, the difference, the phones ringing off the hook. We seemed to be busy all the time,” Barrett said.
In 2013 Aid for Women saw 900 clients annually. Today they see 2,000 annually. “It’s just helpful to have someone like Vitae that can come in and say, ‘You’re focusing on so many things, let us help you in this one area and help drive more traffic to your centers,’” Barrett noted.
One of the women who came to Aid for Women in 2014 has a beautiful daughter as a result of this digital marketing effort. “Sarah” told Vitae: “If it wasn’t for that search, I would have had an abortion, or I would have had my daughter in a very hostile environment.” Aid for Women made sure Sarah had a safe environment during her pregnancy and continued to help after her daughter was born.
Southside Pregnancy Center is another center Vitae collaborates with in Chicago. Southside’s Director, Kathy Bozyk, reported to Vitae in September 2014 that “Internet referrals have increased 100% year over year since implementing Vitae’s Internet SEO strategy.”
Statistics for 2014 show abortions in Illinois reached their lowest level since the legalization of abortion in 1973. The number of abortions declined in every single age category. It is the sixth year in a row that abortion numbers have declined for the state of Illinois, where it has had the distinction of performing the fourth most abortions in the U.S.
Vitae Foundation is a national non-profit organization which uses mass media campaigns to reach women facing unplanned pregnancies. Vitae uses Right Brain research and messaging for a culture of life. Vitae’s presence in the Chicago media market has included the following digital marketing strategies: Internet keyword and mobile advertising, website development, and Internet optimization.
LifeNews Note: Martha Schieber is the Communications Director of the Vitae Foundation.