Overall Wisconsin Abortions Decline While Surgical Methods Rise

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As overall abortions declined in Wisconsin last year by 4 percent, surgical abortions were on the rise by 8 percent, the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism reports.

The rise in surgical abortions resulted from a state law that urged hospitals and medical providers to stop medication-induced abortions last year. This law, Act 217, made the process for women to get medicated abortions harder.

The medication option, commonly known as the abortion pill, has been often preferred by women due to privacy. In 2011, 45 percent of women eligible for medicated abortions chose that type of abortion in Wisconsin, according to Planned Parenthood.

The process a doctor has to follow before he or she can administer the abortion pill to a woman changes under this act, requiring women to consult with the same doctor three separate times, according to Think Progress.

The result of this is harder access to medicated abortions, which then results in a rise in surgical abortions.

In June, however, Planned Parenthood clinics in Wisconsin resumed medicated abortions after filing a lawsuit that sought clarification of the law. Requiring patients to see the same doctor for a counseling session one day and receive the medication the next day has caused delays in scheduling, Nicole Safar, public policy director for Planned Parenthood Wisconsin said. But the organization continues to assist women.

The decrease in overall abortions in the state was well-received by Wisconsin Right to Life, who gives a lot of credit to the new law.

“Whenever babies aren’t being destroyed, whether through chemical or surgical abortions, we think that’s great,” Susan Armacost, legislative director for Wisconsin Right to Life said. “We’re looking at the numbers across the board. There were 322 fewer abortions in 2012, so 322 babies whose lives were spared.”

Source: Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, Think Progress, Planned Parenthood