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Steep declines in abortions level off in Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Recent steep declines in the annual number of abortions in Indiana have started leveling off, according to a report by the state Department of Public Health.

In 2014, there were 8,118 abortions in Indiana, 61 fewer abortions than in 2013. From 2012 to 2013, the number of abortions dropped by 629, and from 2011 to 2012, there were 304 fewer abortions. The number of abortions in Indiana peaked at 16,505 in 1980, The (Munster) Times reported.

Many of the women who obtained abortions last year were in their 20s; about 30 percent of them were 30 or older and 11 percent were 19 or younger. More than 30 percent of the women had college degrees and 13 percent were married. Almost two of three patients had already given birth at least once.

The report comes several days after Gov. Mike Pence asked state health officials to investigate whether Planned Parenthood facilities in Indiana are complying with state law on the disposition of fetal remains, prompted by the release of an undercover video made by anti-abortion activists. A large group of House Republicans endorsed a letter to Pence, praising him for the order and vowing to take legislative action, if necessary.

Indiana Right to Life President Mike Fichter said he’s pleased about the decline in the state’s abortions numbers, but he believes there’s still more that can be done to promote alternatives to abortion.

Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky CEO Betty Cockrum said improved access to birth control under the Affordable Care Act has helped reduce the number of abortions. But the state should do more to further reduce unintended pregnancies, she said.