Despite a state report claiming a 26 percent jump in abortions, an Arizona pro-life group says that a more accurate take on the numbers shows an eight percent drop in women who have undergone the procedure in recent years.
Josh Kredit, legislative counsel for the pro-life Center for Arizona Policy, told EWTN News on Sept. 20 that the center's figures represent a comparison of “apples to apples,” while the state's claim of a 26 percent rise in abortions were based on the comparison of “apples to oranges.”
According to the center, from Aug. 2010 to July 2011, there were 14,711 abortions reported in Arizona. That number fell by eight percent to 13,538 between Aug. 2011 and July 2012.
The group's findings come in the wake of a report from the Arizona Department of Health Services which claimed a 26 percent increase in abortions in the state from 11,438 in 2010 to 14,401 in 2011.
According to the center, however, this discrepancy in results is due to an Arizona law which only took effect in July 2010. Until then, abortion providers were not required to submit information to the Arizona health department, and did so only on a voluntary basis.
Because of the law, beginning July 2010, abortion providers were required to inform the health department of the number of abortions performed on a monthly basis. This allowed for abortions to be under-reported for the months of January through July 2010, skewing the 2010 figure downwards.
In its report, the state health department had itself conceded that “trend comparisons should be interpreted with the caveat of...the expanded reporting requirements that went in to effect in July 2010.”
Although some media outlets were quick to implicate pro-life laws in the state for the apparent rise in the numbers, the center holds that the actual decrease in abortions – for the year Aug. 2011 to July 2012 – can be attributed to recent anti-abortion legislation.
Passed in 2011, the pro-life laws require women seeking an abortion to have a face to face meeting with a doctor at least 24 hours prior to the procedure, and prohibit nurse practitioners from performing abortions.
The changes had an immediate effect as seven of Planned Parenthood's 10 statewide locations could no longer offer the procedure.
In a Sept. 19 statement, the Center for Arizona Policy's president Cathi Herrod said that the state has seen a “number of common sense abortion safety standards and informed consent provisions take effect.”
“It is encouraging,” she added, “to see that more and more moms are choosing life.”