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Ohio Reports Slight Increase In Abortions Last Year

Karen Kasler
Statehouse News Bureau

At least 18 abortion restrictions have been put into place in Ohio since Gov. John Kasich took office in 2011. There are fewer abortion clinics now versus then. Yet the new abortion report compiled by the state shows the number of abortions actually increased last year. 

A report from the Ohio Department of Health says 20,893 abortions were reported in Ohio in 2017. That number increased by 1 percent over the previous year.

NARAL Pro Choice Ohio’s Kellie Copeland says it’s a small increase due to improved abortion procedures.

“Better access to medication abortion probably explains most of the increase," Copeland explains. 

But anti-abortion activists are disappointed.

“It’s a tragedy to see the abortion numbers go up in Ohio," says Jamison Weaver of Ohio Right to Life.

Ohio Right To Life, in a press release, called for legislators to pass a billbanning the common "dilation and evacuation" abortion technique.

The report shows 58 percent of abortions in Ohio last year were surgical, while the rest were medication induced. That’s a big difference from 2001, when 87 percent of terminations were a result of surgical abortions.

In general, however, Ohio has seen a decline of abortions since 2001.

According to the report, almost 49 percent of the abortions last year were among white women, while almost 44 percent were among black women. Cuyahoga County accounted for 36.7 percent of abortions in 2017, with Franklin County just behind at 23.2 and Hamilton at 15.4.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.