Statistics show that abortions are on the rise in the state of Indiana for the first time since nearly a decade ago in 2009.
According to NBC News, an annual report released by the Indiana State Department of Health revealed that just shy of 8,000 women opted to terminate a pregnancy during the year 2017 in the hoosier state. Statistics show the number is just shy of 500 more women than it was in 2016.
Anti-abortion activities do not believe this is a random occurrence, but the result of a court ruling when a federal judge blocked a law Mike Pence – who was the Indiana governor at the time – had signed 10 months prior requiring women to get an ultrasound within 18 hours of the abortion.
Anti-abortion activists believed the law made the pregnancy more “real” and deterred many from getting an abortion by requiring them to get an ultrasound and seeing the baby before aborting it.
“Activist judges blocked Indiana’s ultrasound requirement in early 2017, and now we’re paying the price in rising abortions,” Mike Fichter, president of Indiana Right to Life, said according to NBC News. “We can only imagine how many lives would have been spared if these laws had been able to take effect.”
Activists also argued the ultrasound requirement forced women living in rural areas to travel long distances for both the ultrasound and the abortion which would put up another barrier making it a little more challenging for the women to get the abortion.
Abortions rise in Indiana for first time since 2009 https://t.co/vvZOoQbAiW
— Sri Lanka Health (@SriLankaHealth1) July 11, 2018
Christie Gillespie, who is the CEO and president of Planned Parenthood in the state of Indiana and Kentucky, believes the most effective way to reduce abortion rates is to give women (and men) more access to both birth control and sex education. Christie notes the state of Indiana already houses some of the more restrictive laws surrounding abortions in the United States and yet the rates continue to climb. This causes a growing concern that women in the state of Indiana that want an abortion will continue to get an abortion even when laws are put in place to prevent them. This, in turn, results in women seeking out unsafe abortion procedures and putting themselves at great health risks.
“Indiana has some of the strictest abortion laws in the nation, and women are still choosing to terminate their pregnancies. Restrictive laws don’t reduce abortion rates and are linked to unsafe abortions, which could put Hoosiers at risk of serious health problems and even death.”
Indiana Abortions Increase For First Time In Nine Years — Pro-Life Hoosiers Are Ready To Fight https://t.co/uO9EE085Yu
— Human Defense Initiative (@HumanDefenseINI) July 14, 2018
While the idea that requiring an ultrasound prior to an abortion deters some from getting the abortion makes sense to some, professionals like Gillespie can’t help but wonder if backing young women into a corner where they have no options but an unsafe procedure is really best for the community.