Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Illinois Figures May Indicate Decline in Abortions

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Illinois Figures May Indicate Decline in Abortions

Article excerpt

The first abortion figures gathered in Illinois in more than a decade show that the state's abortion rate may be dropping.

But officials cautioned that the new numbers might be the result of underreporting - caused by today's heated political debate over abortion and the fear of violence facing abortion providers.

"I don't think anybody here would want to take a crack at that," said Illinois Department of Public Health spokesman Tom Schafer, when asked to interpret numbers that seem to show as many as 1,000 fewer abortions monthly in Illinois today than 10 years ago.

"There may be some underreporting based on the political climate," he said.

New figures from the Health Department indicate an average of 4,500 to 5,000 abortions a month have been performed in Illinois since the middle of last year, when the state resumed gathering the figures after a 10-year hiatus.

The last full year for which Illinois gathered abortion statistics was 1983, when more than 65,000 were reported, or about 5,400 a month. …

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