Today, the KDHE health statistics division released its 2009 preliminary abortion report showing a reduction in total abortions : 9,472– down 11% from 10,642 in 2008. We believe at least three factors are reflected in these stats:
- 7 months of a closed clinic (George Tiller’s, after his May 31 murder);
- 76 no-cost statewide pregnancy centers, with 19 offering free sonogram services and a Wichita perinatal hospice center;
- new provisions of the 2009 Woman’s Right to Know and See Act, including the mom’s right to an ultrasound viewing before submitting to abortion.
Tiller’s former clinic did a full range of abortions, which can account for the lower abortion numbers in all categories. His clinic did the vast majority, if not all, of the post 21-week abortions, which, as a category, went from 323 performed in 2008 to 121 in 2009.
Of those 121 abortions, 110 were obtained by out of state women, with 66 of those abortions eliminating viable unborn children, whom even the abortionist himself determined and reported as viable. Once again, not one viable child was aborted to save the mother’s life– which has been the case in Kansas since 1998 when reporting became required.
[Click HERE for Kansans for Life 12-year compilation of Kansas abortion statistics using official KDHE health statistic reports from 1998-2009.]
PREGNANCY HELP CENTERS
Last year approximately 32,000 Kansas women contacted their local pregnancy assistance center, that’s nearly 7 times the number of Kansas females who obtained abortions–4,778.
The centers help women and their families in a variety of ways– before, during and after delivery. Without the personal encouragement, baby supplies and network of support services provided by the volunteer-run centers, the Kansas abortion rate would certainly rise dramatically.
NEW LAW IN EFFECT
The Women’s Right to Know & See Act went into effect July 2009, having been promoted through KFL’s “Look at me, Mommy” campaign. The Act had several educational components that haven’t yet been properly implemented by KDHE, but the statute does give mothers at abortion clinics new rights:
- a warning about coercion, well-posted inside the clinic;
- access to free medical help for fetal abnormalities; and
- the ability to see the fetal ultrasound inside abortion clinics.
Together, these provisions work to empower women who are conflicted or are being rushed into abortion by friends and family members. Although we have no way yet of gauging how often women are speaking up to see the ultrasound, viewing the image helps a woman bond with her unborn baby.
Fewer abortions in Kansas is a great thing, ensuring more enriched lives, with the added positive benefit of less breast cancer and premature births. The nationwide abortion rate has been trending down for some time as the harms of abortion become more evident, with more than half of Americans polled now self-identifying as pro-life.