Abortion opponents in Illinois say more women are changing their views about the procedure, which has led to the dramatic drop in abortions for the first time in the state since 1973. Abortion rights groups, however, attribute the 37-year low in 2010 to an increase in contraception use, says a report Wednesday in the Chicago Sun-Times
According to the Sun-Times, the Illinois Department of Public Health documented 41,859 abortions in the state during 2010. That was the lowest total since 1973 when the procedure was legalized in the landmark Supreme Court case, Roe vs. Wade. The health department recorded 32,760 abortions that year.
Planned Parenthood of Illinois President Carole Brite welcomed the decrease, but told the Sun-Times it was “hard to know for sure” what caused it. But she noted that her organization had doubled its distribution of contraceptives, including a number of new devices to prevent pregnancy.
“I think more and more providers have become aware and knowledgeable of these methods and are recommending them to their patients,” Brite said.
But Bill Beckman, executive director of the Illinois Right to Life Committee, told the Sun-Times that the decrease may reflect a national shift in views about abortion.
“I think that overall, just the public mind-set of abortion is changing and that’s having an impact on people being more reluctant to make that choice,” he said.
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