Pennsylvania Abortion Rates Rise Slightly

Pregnancy Resource Centers provide alternatives

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The number of abortions in Pennsylvania rose slightly in 2018, just over 1 percent, according to the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, an affiliate of National Right to Life.

Over the past several years, abortion rates have trended mostly downward. In 2012, there were 34,536 abortions in Pennsylvania. Since then, nine abortion centers in Pennsylvania have closed.

Statistics just released by the Pennsylvania Department of Health show 353 more abortions occurred in 2018 compared to 2017. In all, 30,364 abortions took place in 2018. The report shows 25-29 year olds as the largest age group having abortions (30.5%), followed by 20-24 year olds (28%). Abortions for females under 18 held steady at 2.7%.

Six counties accounted for 87% of total abortions: Allegheny, Dauphin, Delaware, Montgomery, Northhampton, and Philadelphia, which itself accounted for 40% of the abortions.

“Even a slight rise in abortion is disturbing, as women and children deserve better options,” said Bonnie Finnerty, Education Director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation. “Sadly, 83 babies die by abortion every day in our state, and we’ve seen a 25.2 increase in complications from abortion since the previous year. Unfortunately, Governor Wolf and Planned Parenthood continue to promote abortion as a safe option, but it is neither safe for women nor for the children who receive a death sentence.”

Conversely, Pregnancy Resource Centers across Pennsylvania have increased their services, offering women and children life-affirming alternatives, from ultrasounds and material goods to life-skill classes and daycare referrals.

“The abortion rate in Pennsylvania would be much higher were it not for the state’s Alternatives to Abortion program, which is administered by Real Alternatives, Inc.,” Finnerty added. “This ground-breaking program provides women with resources so that they 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 children.”

“When women receive comprehensive support and affirmation, they are far more likely to choose life for their babies,” said Kevin Bagatta, President and CEO of Real Alternatives, Inc.

Troubling, however, is the number of repeat abortions. The figures show that in more than 47 percent of cases, Pennsylvania women who had abortions in 2018 had had at least one previous abortion and, in some cases, four or more prior abortions.

“We must continue to reach out to women to let them know that help is available for themselves and their babies—and that no one has the right to coerce them into having an abortionist end the lives of their children,” said Finnerty.