Abortion rates dropping in Utah, data shows

Posted at 10:11 PM, Jun 08, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-09 00:11:01-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- A new review of Utah Health Department data shows the number of abortions dropped by 16 percent from 2010 through 2013.

It’s not clear what the reason is for the rapid drop.

"We have over the years passed new legislation.  Things that have just chiseled away at the original Roe vs. Wade," said Gayle Ruzicka, President of the Utah Eagle Forum and a pro-life supporter.

Ruzicka pointed to a law in Utah that requires women to wait 72 hours after giving clinic notice of intent to get an abortion.

"That saves babies," Ruzicka said.

Planned Parenthood Association of Utah CEO Karrie Galloway doesn’t believe the law or others restricting abortion clinics are the reason for the drop.

"I don't know that they've had any impact on the decisions those people have made," Galloway said.

Galloway pointed to comprehensive efforts on sex education, better contraceptives and better access to birth control through health insurance.

"The ACA has made reproductive healthcare a prominent part of every women's access to healthcare," she said.

Between local pro-life and pro-choice supporters, the role of law and the role of women may be widest of all.

"They believe that there should be no restrictions on women whatsoever in having an abortions, I totally disagree with that," Ruzicka said.

"That's the most frustrating aspect for me.  Women don't make these decisions lightly and people need to trust women," Galloway said.

For now, neither side can claim credit for the reason why abortions are dropping.

"There's a lot of thoughts out there, a lot of theories, but nothing has been proven," said a spokesperson for the Utah Health Department.