State Capitol News
11:23 am
Tue September 18, 2012

New Figures Show Increase Reporting in Abortions Performed in AZ

On paper, 13,606 Arizona women terminated a pregnancy in 2011, compared to 11,059 the year before.

 But state health director Will Humble said the jump occurred as his agency went from a paper system to an electronic one, with abortion providers logging information directly into the state's computer.

"I think honestly the real key piece is making it convenient," Humble said. "The easier you can make it to report something, whether or abortion, the better data you're going to have."

So the figures may not be comparable. But Humble did notice that the number of TEEN abortions remained stable -- even with the OVERALL increase due to better reporting. Humble said that's due to fewer teens getting pregnant in the first place. His agency funds both a program that promotes abstinence as the lone method of preventing pregnancy, as well as one that also provides information on birth control for teens who are sexually active.

"And my attitude is, hey, if we've got some funding and we can get it out there to reduce teen pregnancy, let's do it," he said. "And it's not going to work for every young woman or every teen. But the more tools you can get out there to reduce teen pregnancy, the better."

Humble said he'll be better able to provide annual comparisons in all categories once the new electronic program has been running for a couple of years.

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