September 14, 2017 | Posted in Abortion | By

Earlier this summer the Arkansas Department of Health released its annual report regarding abortion.

The report shows, among other things, that abortion has fallen to its lowest levels since 1977 and that fewer women are coming to Arkansas from other states to have abortions.

It also shows that abortion among teenagers has fallen to new lows.

In 1994 some 6,036 abortions were performed in Arkansas. Of those, 1,503 were on teenagers — nearly one in every four abortions.

In 2016 only 349 abortions were on teenagers — less than 11% of all the abortions performed in Arkansas that year.

Some say this decline is due to increased access to birth control among teenagers. However, Arkansas’ teen pregnancy rates have remained high. While that’s nothing to brag about, it shows contraceptives are not the reason teenagers are having fewer abortions.

What’s behind the drastic decline in abortion? For one thing, we are building a culture of life. Abortion is unthinkable to many young people who have seen ultrasound images and know what abortion really is.

I also believe much of the credit goes to our pro-life laws passed in recent years. In 2015 Arkansas passed one of the best informed-consent laws in the nation. It ensures women are given all the facts about abortion up front. Nearly 500 women chose not to have abortions last year after being given that information.

Below is a breakdown of abortion among teenagers and adults in Arkansas since 1994.

Year Teen Non-Teen / Unknown Total
1994 1,503 (24.9%) 4,533 (75.1%) 6,036
1995 1,435 (24.4%) 4,451 (75.6%) 5,886
1996 1,479 (24.3%) 4,603 (75.7%) 6,082
1997 1,378 (23.4%) 4,511 (76.6%) 5,889
1998 1,334 (21.4%) 4,891 (78.6%) 6,225
1999 1,157 (20.7%) 4,435 (79.3%) 5,592
2000 1,158 (21.3%) 4,291 (78.7%) 5,449
2001 1,184 (20.1%) 4,715 (79.9%) 5,899
2002 1,006 (19%) 4,282 (81%) 5,288
2003 1,015 (18.8%) 4,384 (81.2%) 5,399
2004 884 (19.1%) 3,756 (80.9%) 4,640
2006 956 (19.2%) 4,029 (80.8%) 4,985
2007 870 (18%) 3,972 (82%) 4,842
2008 866 (18.1%) 3,916 (81.9%) 4,782
2009 774 (16.9%) 3,799 (83.1%) 4,573
2010 750 (16.6%) 3,778 (83.4%) 4,528
2011 615 (15.3%) 3,417 (84.7%) 4,032
2012 535 (14.1%) 3,247 (85.9%) 3,782
2013 451 (12.1%) 3,281 (87.9%) 3,732
2014 486 (11.4%) 3,786 (88.6%) 4,272
2015 407 (10.8%) 3,364 (89.2%) 3,771
2016 349 (10.9%) 2,858 (89.1%) 3,207
Total 20,243 (19.2%) 85,441 (80.8%) 105,684

Jerry is the founder and president of Family Council. He began Family Council in 1989 after a successful effort to amend the Arkansas Constitution to prevent the use of public funds for abortions. He and his wife reside in Little Rock. They have four sons.