Arizona abortion rates decreased slightly

Arizona State law directs the Arizona Department of Health Services to produce several reports each year to inform the public and make informed public policy decisions. A recently required report is the annual report on abortion.

In the 3rd year of publishing the annual Abortion Surveillance Report, officials found that there was a 7% decrease in the number of abortions between 2011 and 2012. There was also a decrease in overall abortion rates and ratios (the abortion ratio is the number of abortions per 1,000 births).

According to the report, the majority of abortions were performed surgically (68%), which is the reverse of the trend over the last couple of years toward medication abortions. During 2012 there were 76 women who had complications from the procedure (the most frequently reported complication was delayed or excessive hemorrhaging).

Historically, incidents of complications resulting from an abortion procedure have not consistently been reported at the state or national level. The 2012 reporting year is the second consecutive year complications were consistently reported in Arizona. During the 2012 reporting year there were a total of 76 resident women who experienced complications resulting from an abortion. Of these, the majority resulted from abortions performed at 13 or fewer weeks of gestation. The most frequently reported complication was delay and/or excessive hemorrhage and over 72 percent of complications were to women living in Maricopa County.

As required by A.R.S §36-2163 subsection C, the Arizona Administrative Office of the Courts reported a total of 49 petitions filed during the 2012 reporting year. Of these, 42 orders authorizing an abortion without parental consent were issued to unemancipated minors).

• Ninety-eight percent (13,129) of the abortions performed within Arizona in 2012 were to resident women, a 3.5 percent decrease from the 13,606 resident abortions in 2011.

• Approximately 58 percent of resident women who received an abortion were 20 to 29 years of age.

• The majority of resident women obtaining abortions in Arizona were unmarried (79.6%, 10,449).

• During 2002 – 2012 the abortion rates decreased slightly for both adolescents 15 -19 years and unmarried women.

• Non-surgical abortions showed a 5 percent decrease to about 32 percent (4,266). While the number of abortions due to maternal medical conditions increased, those due to fetal medical conditions decreased.

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