Arkansas Abortions Drop to Lowest Level Since 1970s, More Babies Saved From Abortion

State   |   Jerry Cox   |   Jun 3, 2021   |   9:21AM   |   Little Rock, Arkansas

On Wednesday the Arkansas Department of Health released its annual reports on the number of abortions performed in the state.

The report shows that 3,154 abortions occurred in Arkansas in 2020.

Family Council President Jerry Cox released a statement saying, “Abortion in Arkansas is near historic lows. Abortion in Arkansas hasn’t been this low since the late 1970s, and Arkansas is the most pro-life state in America according to Americans United for Life. Arkansans are winning the fight against abortion.”

Cox noted that teen abortion remained at an all time low in 2020. “In the 1990s teenagers were among those who were most likely to have an abortion. Today they are some of the least likely to have one. The number of abortions performed in Arkansas has been cut in half since 1991. Overall, the state’s abortion rate has plummeted. That’s all really great news.”

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Cox said the reports also show Arkansas’ informed-consent laws have helped women choose options besides abortion. “Arkansas has one of the best informed-consent laws in America. It requires abortionists to give women all the facts about abortion up front, including abortion’s risks, consequences, and alternatives. They also have to give women plenty of time to consider all options before making a final decision. We estimate from these reports that between 500 and 600 women chose not to have abortions last year after receiving this information.”

Cox praised the Arkansas Legislature for enacting good legislation that protects unborn children. “Arkansas’ lawmakers have passed some of the best pro-life laws in the country. Governor Hutchinson has signed every pro-life law that has come across his desk, and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has defended them in court. This year the state passed several laws that will protect unborn children and give our courts an opportunity to overturn bad decisions like Roe v. Wade. These latest reports simply show that we are winning the fight against abortion in our state.”

Here’s a brief rundown of what else the Health Department’s data revealed.

The Woman’s Right to Know Act of 2015 Saved 500 – 600 Unborn Children Last Year

In 2015 Arkansas passed arguably the best informed-consent law for abortion in America.

It helps ensure that women asking about abortion get all the facts first — including information about abortion’s risks, consequences, and alternatives.

Each year the State of Arkansas reports the number of women who receive the informed-consent information required by state law as well as the number of women who actually have abortions.

By comparing these numbers, Family Council estimates that the 2015 Woman’s Right to Know Act saved approximately 500 – 600 unborn children in 2020. That’s simply incredible.

Teen Abortion Is At An All-Time Low

In 1994 one out four abortions performed in Arkansas was on a teenager. Last year that number was less than one in ten.

All told, 304 abortions were performed on teenage girls last year.

Teenagers used to be among those most at-risk for having an abortion. Today they are among those who are least likely to have an abortion.

Arkansas’ Abortion Rate Has Been Cut Almost in Half Since 2001

Since 2001 the abortion rate among women in Arkansas has fallen by approximately 45%.

Since 1990, the state’s total abortion rate has been cut by well over 50%.

Single Moms are Most At Risk for Abortion in Arkansas

In 2020 approximately 56% – 67% of women who had abortions were single moms.

As many as two-thirds of all the women who had abortions in Arkansas last year were unmarried and already had children.

Most Abortions Were Performed on African-American Women in 2020

Most of the women — 54% — who had abortions in Arkansas last year were African-American. That’s a very troubling statistic.

Chemical Abortion Was More Common Than Surgical Abortion in 2020

For the first time in Arkansas history, chemical abortion — like RU-486 — was more prevalent than surgical abortion.

Approximately 55% of abortions performed in Arkansas last year were drug-induced. Forty-five percent were surgical abortion procedures.

These numbers indicate that chemical abortion continues to rise in Arkansas even though abortion has been in decline in the state, overall, for many years.

Forty Women Reported Complications from RU-486 in 2020

In a separate report, the state noted that 40 women experienced complications from the RU-486 abortion drug regimen.

It is not clear what specific complications these women experienced.

The report underscores that abortion-inducing drugs like RU-486 are not safe.

The Number of Abortions Performed on Women From Out of State is On The Rise

In 2018, approximately one out of ten abortions performed in Arkansas was on a woman from out of state.

In 2019 that number rose to 11%.

In 2020 approximately 12% of women who had abortions in Arkansas were from out of state.

Overall, 390 women came to Arkansas for abortions last year.

During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns, it was widely reported that women from out-of-state traveled to Arkansas for abortions before the State of Arkansas shut down the surgical abortion facility in Little Rock.

It is possible the COVID-19 lockdowns that temporarily closed abortion facilities in states like Texas prompted more women to travel to Arkansas for abortions.


Abortions rose slightly in 2020 compared to 2019 and 2018. Overall, however, abortion has been in decline in Arkansas for many years. Today, Arkansas’ abortion numbers sit near historic lows. Far too many children are aborted in Arkansas every year. However, Arkansas’ pro-life laws are saving lives, and Arkansans are continuing to win the fight against abortion.