Thousands more unborn babies were killed in abortions in 2018 in Illinois after a law forcing taxpayers to fund abortions went into effect.
Abortion data released by the Illinois Department of Public Health this week showed approximately 3,000 more abortions in 2018, a 7-percent increase from 2017. The state recorded 42,441 abortions in 2018.
The massive increase coincides with the enactment of a law forcing taxpayers to fund abortions through Medicaid and government employee health care plans. Former Gov. Bruce Rauner drew wide-spread criticism when he signed the unpopular law in 2017. Polls consistently show strong opposition to taxpayer-funded abortions.
Peter Breen, a former state representative and lawyer with the pro-life Thomas More Society, based in Chicago, said he was shocked to see how many babies were aborted in 2018.
“We knew that abortions would continue to increase as taxpayer funding of abortions took hold, but seeing an increase of nearly 4,000 more Illinois babies aborted is shocking,” Breen told the newspaper.
He expressed concern that the numbers could continue to increase after pro-abortion Democrats in the state passed a law allowing abortions for basically any reason up to birth last summer.
The vast majority of abortions were done on unmarried mothers in 2018, and most were in their 20s, according to the report. The data does not include how many were taxpayer funded.
Eric Scheidler, executive director of Pro-Life Action League, said the 2018 report also showed an increase in late-term abortions in Illinois. The number of abortions done at 20 weeks or later rose from 255 in 2017 to 664 in 2018, an 80-percent increase, he said.
With the 2019 law expanding late-term abortions even further, Illinois could see even more viable, late-term unborn babies aborted in the future.
“Illinois has become the abortion dumping ground of the midwest. Taxpayer funding seems to have significantly increased abortion here,” Scheidler said. “We have our work cut out for us!”
The Illinois statistics contrast with national abortion trends. In the U.S. as a whole, abortion numbers have been dropping steadily for years. In September, the Guttmacher Institute reported a 7-percent drop in abortions between 2017 and 2014, NPR reports. Guttmacher is a pro-abortion research group, but it is considered to have the most comprehensive abortion data.
There were 862,320 abortions reported in 2017, down from 926,200 in 2014, according to the report. The abortion rate also fell to 13.5 per 1,000 women of childbearing age, down from 14.6 in 2014 and 16.9 in 2011.
Not since the U.S. Supreme Court allowed abortion on demand in 1973 through Roe v. Wade have abortion numbers been so low.
Guttmacher attributed the decline to lower pregnancy rates and better access to contraception. However, pro-life efforts to protect unborn babies and mothers also made a strong impact. Even abortion activists admit that pro-life laws save lives by stopping abortions.