A new report from the Pennsylvania Department of Health reveals that that in 2019, there were 654 more abortions in the state than in 2018. This marks the second year in a row that the state saw an increase in abortions, and the first time since 2001 that there was an increase in two consecutive years.
Altogether, 31,018 abortions were committed in the state in 2019, which means that an average of 85 babies died by abortion each day. The majority of those abortions were committed on women ages 25 to 29, and nearly 88% of the women were reported as unmarried. Over 47% of the abortions were committed on women who already had at least one prior abortion. The report also reveals that 44% of abortions were committed on Black women, though nationwide, the Black community comprises just 12% of the population.
Additionally, there was an alarming increase in reported abortion complications. The state recorded 285 abortion complications for 2019, significantly higher than the 179 injuries documented in 2018. According to the report (emphasis added):
In 2019, there were 285 reports of complications from abortions that were submitted by physicians; 59.2 percent more than the 179 reported in 2018. More than 82 percent of the complications were related to retained products of conception, 12.3 percent to bleeding and 1.8 percent to infection.
Approximately 60% of the total number of complications were due to the abortion pill, with 54% of the complications listed as “retained products of conception” after an abortion pill procedure; in other words, incomplete abortions.
The state also saw an increase in late abortions, with 462 reported after 20 weeks. Abortion in the state is currently allowed up to 24 weeks because Governor Tom Wolf vetoed a bill in 2017 that would have prohibited abortions after 20 weeks.
“It is disturbing to see an increase in abortion, especially late-term abortion, when we know babies are pain-capable,” said Bonnie Finnerty, Education Director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation. “And it is alarming that there was a 59% increase in complications from abortions, putting vulnerable women at great risk while sentencing their children to death. Had Governor Wolf signed pro-life legislation such as the Dismemberment Bill in 2017, these numbers would be lower.”
In more positive news, Kevin Bagatta, President and CEO of Real Alternative, Inc., noted that his pregnancy support organization’s clients also increased in 2019.
“In 1995, Pennsylvania was the first state to provide taxpayer dollars dedicated to provide free services to women in unexpected pregnancies to encourage childbirth rather than abortion. To date, the program has served over 325,000 women of the Commonwealth. We are grateful to the citizens of the Commonwealth for the financial resources they provide to the program so 440 counselors throughout the state can serve thousands of women in unexpected pregnancies. Their dedication led to our program serving 11% more clients in 2019 than 2018,” he said.
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