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Abortion rate decreases in Ohio

By Lauren Williams
On October 9, 2012

A new report released by the Ohio Department of Health indicates the abortion rate in Ohio has dropped by 12 percent.

The report compares previous abortion rates and demographic differences in the amount of abortions induced by age, race and county of residence. The report also contains statistics on gestational age, method of termination, prior induced abortions and pregnancies and contraceptive history.

Ohio Department of Health spokesperson Tess Pollock said the report does not contain information on the societal or political implications of the new findings on abortion in Ohio. "It's not [the Ohio Department of Health's] role to provide that data," Pollock said. "We don't really talk to those healthcare providers and ask questions beyond what's on that reporting page."

John Paulson, supervisor for the Center for Public Health Statistics & Informatics at the department, said one interesting finding is the difference the report reveals in the type of abortion induced.

"If you pull up both reports on our webpage and compare the methods of termination, you'll see a big drop in the medical non-surgical abortion," Paulson said.

Still, Paulson said this report is new and does not answer questions of why the abortion rate has changed.

"We don't collect a lot of information about why someone got an abortion and the different things that could play into an abortion," Paulson said.

Sophomore Samantha Bopp, secretary of Miami University Students For Life (MUSFL), said this decrease in the Ohio abortion rate indicates a larger national change in the attitudes towards abortion.

"I think we are becoming a pro-life majority in the United States," Bopp said. "I think just getting the word out there, changing hearts and minds and helping women and children is definitely affecting rates as well."

In the last MUSFL meeting, Bopp said the group discussed President Barack Obama and Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney's positions on abortion and the relevance of abortion issues in the upcoming election.

"I think it will be a pretty big issue, especially among religious groups," Bopp said. "It's really not focused on as much as it should be."

Senior Justine Furbeck, president of Pro-Choice Miami, said abortion rights groups are happy to hear that abortion rates have gone down in Ohio.

"I'm hoping it's down 12 percent because people have more access to contraception and are making more informed decisions about whether or not they want to have sex and how to practice safe sex," Furbeck said.

Furbeck said she hopes the rate has not dropped for negative reasons.

"I'm hoping it's not because we've stigmatized abortion as a choice or have put more restrictions on it at the state level," Furbeck said.

Pro-Choice Miami and Feminists working for Real Democracy (F-WORD) provide information and support to anybody who needs more information on these related issues, according to Furbeck.

This article is part of a series The Miami Student is running about the University Archives. All information in the following article was obtained from the University Archives with the help of University Archivist Bob Schmidt.

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