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Wisconsin Report Shows Decrease In Abortions For Sixth Straight Year

Teen Pregnancy Rate Also Down, Planned Parenthood Official Noted

Fibonacci Blue (CC-BY)

A recent state report released by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services shows a decrease in abortions for the sixth straight year. Last year, abortions decreased statewide by more than two percent.

The report shows there were 5,660 abortions in the state last year compared to 5,800 abortions in 2014. That’s a drop of 140 abortions, a 2.4 percent decline.

Of the 5,660 abortions last year, 214 were performed on minors. Seventy-nine percent were surgical, while 21 percent were chemically induced.

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The report comes just one week after Planned Parenthood officials announced it will permanently close its Appleton North Health Center after originally suspending services there last October as the group sought to fill staff vacancies with local hires.

That closure leaves three remaining abortion providers in the state — one in Madison and two Milwaukee, one of which is private Affiliated Medical Services.

There is a key factor in the decline, said Nicole Safar, director of government relations at Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin.

“It’s the pregnancy rate, that’s connected to the abortion rate,” Safar said. “So when unintended pregnancies go down and women who become pregnant are having planned pregnancies, there is less abortion.”

As the effectiveness of preventative health care and birth control rise, the number of abortions is expected to continue to drop, Safar said.

Wisconsin Right to Life Executive Director Heather Weininger said a few factors drove the decline.

“Teenagers are waiting longer to have sex, so that certainly makes an impact,” Weininger said. “But the work over generations of changing hearts and minds to favor life also has a great impact.”

Weininger said she expects the number to fall even further under state legislation requiring women to see an ultrasound before deciding whether to have an abortion and banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.