By Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation
The annual total of abortions in Pennsylvania have reached a record low, according to figures released by the PA Department of Health.
The yearly report shows 30,011 abortions occurred in the Commonwealth in 2017—down from the 30,881 which took place in 2016, a decrease of nearly three percent.
Nearly 84 percent of the abortions occurred in five counties: Allegheny (6,140), Dauphin (1,152), Delaware (1,016), Northampton (2,772), and Philadelphia (13,999).
“The fact that abortions are now at a record low is good news for mothers and babies in Pennsylvania,” said Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, an affiliate of National Right to Life. “While every abortion is a tragedy, this historic low number is an important milestone,” Gallagher added.
The decline in abortions can be attributed to a number of factors. “Technology has created a window to the womb, thanks to advancements in Ultrasound. Women are much more likely to choose life for their babies, if they view an Ultrasound in a supportive environment,” Gallagher said.
“In addition, abortion totals in Pennsylvania would be much higher were it not for the caring pregnancy resource centers administered by Real Alternatives and other groups,” Gallagher added “These life-affirming organizations provide everything from diapers to day care referrals, along with comprehensive counseling to pregnant women.”
Still, looking deeper at the statistics, certain trends emerge that are of serious concern. For instance there is the disproportionate number of abortions performed on African-American women and the rise in abortions among Latina women. A total of 12,865 African-American babies died from abortion in 2017, while 3,038 Hispanic babies were aborted the same year.
Then there are the number of, late-term abortions, abortions performed at 21-23 weeks, which rose to 436. Keep in mind that Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf vetoed a bill that would have changed the abortion limit in PA from 24 weeks to 20 weeks gestation to reflect changes in viability. Thanks to medical breakthroughs, doctors and nurses are able to save babies at ever-earlier stages of development. The bill would have also banned the brutal practice of dismemberment abortion, where a baby is torn limb by limb from a mother’s womb.
Meanwhile, the abortion pill RU-486 accounts for an increasing number of abortions in Pennsylvania. These chemical abortions–also known as medical or medication abortions–account for 11,496 of the 30,011 abortions performed in the Commonwealth.
Also of concern is the number of repeat abortions in the Keystone State. Nearly half of the abortions–14,172–were performed on women who had anywhere from one to four or more previous abortions. This demonstrations the disturbing trend of abortions being used as a method of birth control.
Nevertheless, the downward dip in abortions in Pennsylvania is welcomed news. The closure of abortion facilities, advances in ultrasound technology, and the concrete support provided by pro-life pregnancy resource centers have all helped to make this miracle happen.