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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Some Notable Changes in the 2011 NC Reported Abortions

North Carolina Right to Life (NCRTL) recently updated the abortion information on its website to reflect the 2011 statistics. This resource, which is derived from the current State Center for Health Statistics data, is an excellent tool for learning and sharing the facts about abortions in North Carolina.

The 2011 trends in abortion continue to reflect the same patterns that have developed over the last several years. The majority of North Carolina residents who seek abortion are young and unmarried, and women under the age of 24 account for 45% of abortions. Minorities, 20% of whose total pregnancies end in abortion, obtained sixty percent of the state’s abortions.

One striking difference between the 2010 and 2011 numbers is the overall decline in abortions, which have decreased by 15%. In 2010, there were 25,808 abortions performed on North Carolina residents; in 2011, there were 22,370. This marks the greatest drop in abortion numbers within the past five years. There was also, however, a decrease in the total number of pregnancies, so while there were fewer abortion deaths, there were fewer live births, as well. Other factors affecting this total might include population changes, cultural shifts regarding childbearing and life issues, and more effective pro-life legislation.

Also of interest is a change in abortion procedures. In 2010, suction curettage abortions and dilation and evacuation (D&E) abortions, both surgical methods, were the most frequently performed. In 2011, suction curettage remained as the most frequently used (52%), but medical (chemical/nonsurgical) abortion narrowly topped D&E abortion as the second most common procedure.  Since the majority of abortions take place during the early stages of pregnancy, these chemical abortions are becoming more popular.  This also reflects the growing emphasis that abortion advocates, most notably Planned Parenthood, are placing on quicker and “easier” forms of abortion, as chemical abortions are nonsurgical and require only brief visits to the abortion facilities, unless the chemicals do not work. Then, the mother has to return for a surgical abortion.  
While the continual decline in total abortions is a cause for hope and celebration, 22,370 lives are still too many. North Carolina Right to Life is as devoted as ever to working to protect unborn children and their mothers in the coming years.

For more information about the 2011 statistics, visit NCRTL's web page.

Post written by Erin Karlovich, NCRTL Assistant Director.