The Illinois abortion rate has fallen to its lowest number in 40 years, a new report reveals. The 2013 Illinois Abortion Statistics, issued by the Illinois Department of Public Health, reported that the abortion rate has dropped by 5.7 percent. This decline represents nearly 2,500 babies who saw life instead of abortion last year. The abortion rate decreased in every age group except for those 45 years of age and above.
There was a very dramatic abortion decline among minors – 20 percent fewer young mothers choose abortion from September to December. Illinois Right to Life credits the decline to the implementation of a new parental involvement law:
Most notably, in August of 2013, the Illinois Parental Notification Law went into effect, requiring children under the age of 18 to notify one parent or guardian before obtaining an abortion. With that law in effect for only the last four months of 2013, we see a dramatic 20 percent decrease in the number of minors obtaining abortions, pointing to increased parental involvement and a positive effectiveness of the law. In 2013, 1,762 abortions were performed on minors 17 years old and younger, in contrast to the 2,213 in 2012. The number of abortions performed on girls 14 years old and younger dropped 31.6 percent in 2013 to 149 – the lowest number in at least 18 years.
We have seen the dire need for parental notification laws in states like Texas, where consent can be easily bypassed by a judge without parents knowing that their daughter sought or underwent an abortion procedure. Notification ensures that parents are informed, and as Illinois has proven, this knowledge plays a crucial role in the decisions that children make. Illinois is demonstrating the effectiveness of the measure.
In 1973 (the only year that had a lower abortion rate than 2013), Illinois saw 32,760 abortions, with dramatically more – 46,800 – in 1974. Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion on demand in the U.S., did not pass until late January of 1973. That year’s abortion rate would likely have not encompassed a full year of legal abortions.