Abortion rates in Indiana continue to decline, as there were 1,000 fewer recorded abortions in 2013 than in 2011.
“A recent report by the State Department of Health says 1,000 fewer Indiana women had abortions in 2013 than in 2011,” the Associated Press reports. “That’s a drop of about 12 percent in two years. Compared with 2008, the drop is even steeper–slightly more than one-fourth.”
The falling rates in Indiana reflect the rates nationwide, which, according to a recent Guttmacher Institute study, have fallen to the lowest level since 1973.
Between 2008 and 2011, abortion rates fell 13 percent, the study found. The fall was a resumption of a downward trend that stalled between 2005 and 2008. The number of U.S. abortions dropped to 1.1 million between 2008 and 2011.
But the number of abortion providers also fell. Providers fell 4 percent between 2008 and 2011. Additionally, abortion clinics were reduced by 1 percent.
Some of the new requirements adopted in Indiana include a pregnant woman being given an ultrasound before an abortion–though a patient can choose whether or not to view it. Also a ban was placed on healthcare plans paying for abortions, with certain exceptions, such as life, death, or rape. Abortion clinics are also subject to at least one unannounced health inspection a year, as well as new patient safety and cleanliness rules.
Several states in the South, including Mississippi and Texas, have instituted new patient safety and abortion clinic cleanliness laws that liberals have attempted to roll back both in state legislatures and in the courts. But recent attempts to roll back restrictions in Texas were quashed by a federal appeals court in October of last year.
Abortion supporters blame the falling rate on the new abortion safety laws in Indiana and other states.
“Indiana is really one of the most restrictive states in the country,” Guttmacher Institute State Issues Manager Elizabeth Nash told the AP.
The AP’s report is a perfect example of the assumption that the new laws are at fault for the falling rate. The report was presented strictly from the pro-abortion point of view by noting that abortion has declined “amid a long march of laws that have made it steadily more difficult for a woman to end her pregnancy in the state, health records show.”
But even the Guttmacher report showed that abortion was falling at an equal rate all across the country, even in states that haven’t made abortions “harder” to get.
It is far from clear that Indiana’s laws alone are responsible for the decline in abortion.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.