Health

New Arizona Pro-Life Law Cuts Abortions by a Third

| by Baptist Press

WASHINGTON -- Abortions in Arizona dropped by nearly one-third in September after a pro-life law went into effect.

The state reported there were 729 abortions in Arizona during September -- a decline of almost 31 percent from September 2010, nearly 32 percent from August of this year and 39 percent from the monthly average for the last year, the Associated Press reported Oct. 12.

The decrease in abortions came after the Arizona Court of Appeals unanimously upheld in August a 2009 state law that places limitations on abortion services. The Abortion Consent Act mandates only doctors perform abortions; requires women to receive full information 24 hours beforehand on abortion, its risks, fetal development and alternatives to the procedure; mandates parental consent for minors, and protects freedom of conscience for pro-life, health-care workers.

Even a strong advocate for the new law was surprised by the difference in the number of abortions.

"I don't know that I ever expected abortion numbers to drop, so I kind of feel like, 'O ye of little faith,'" said Cathi Herrod, executive director of the Center for Arizona Policy, according to CitizenLink.com. She said her organization is "very encouraged."

"This shows the critical need for pregnancy care centers," she said. "As abortion drops, it's a tremendous opportunity for pregnancy centers to step into the breach and really help these women in the community."

After the court's ruling, the Arizona affiliate of Planned Parenthood announced its clinics in Flagstaff, Prescott Valley and Yuma would stop providing abortions by means of the drug RU 486. The clinics did not perform surgical abortions.