Kansas reports 30-year low for abortions

Kansas reports 30-year low for abortions
© Greg Nash

A preliminary report from Kansas found that fewer abortions were performed in 2017 than in any of the last 30 years.

The 6,782 reported abortions in 2017 marks the fewest in the state since the 6,409 procedures reported in 1987, according to a report in the Kansas City Star on Tuesday.

The highest number of abortions — 12,455 — was performed in 1999 before steadily dropping to 6,810 in 2016.

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The report from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment found that 11 percent of the procedures were performed on teenagers — including three on girls younger than 14.

Sixty-eight percent of the women and girls were getting an abortion for the first time.

Fifty-eight percent of the procedures were performed on women who were already mothers, the Star reported. Married women accounted for 16 percent of the total.

The data shows abortions performed on 3,372 Kansas women and 3,377 women from other states, mostly Missouri.

Missouri has increasingly been restricting abortion access in the state and passed a bill blocking abortions after 20 weeks on the same day Kansas’s report was released.

According to the Kansas report, 68 percent of abortions in 2017 were performed within less than nine weeks of pregnancy. Only 10 of the abortions were performed at or after 22 weeks and did not take place in Kansas. The state considers abortions after 22 weeks to be late term.

Kansas is defined as an “extremely hostile” state toward abortion, by the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive research organization.

The state requires women to receive state-directed counseling, have an ultrasound and then wait 24 hours before the procedure is performed.