COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- There were 25,473 abortions performed in Ohio during 2012, according to the Ohio Department of Health. Just over 24,000 of those were obtained by Ohioans. While the number of overall abortions decreased, the number of Ohioans seeking abortions increased by about 700 from 2011.
"The alarming fact is that we saw a 5 percent increase in African-American abortions and a decrease in white abortions," said Ohio Right to Life President Mike Gonidakis.
African-Americans make up only 8 percent of the state's population. Gonidakis says they'll begin targeting efforts at that segment of the population.
"The (Ohio) Legislative Black Caucus is holding a press conference on guns, yet abortion kills tens of thousands of more babies a year than guns do," he said. "We need to focus on the issue at hand."
Since 2000 the Ohio Department of Health reports a steady decline in abortions each year. Overall, the number of abortions in 2012 represents the second lowest rate since 1976. The number of abortions in Ohio peaked in 1981.
Approximately one in seven women who obtained abortions were under 20 years of age, with one in three women between the ages of 20-24 years of age. While the age distribution of women obtaining abortions has remained relatively unchanged since 2000, the age-specific abortion rates for women under age 25 have steadily decreased. Approximately 83 percent of women who obtained an abortion were never married, divorced, or widowed. Twelve percent of procedures were obtained by married or separated women.
Fifty-three percent of resident women who obtained abortions and for whom race was reported were White, 42 percent were African American, 3 percent were Asian/Pacific Islander, and 2 percent reported more than one race. Four percent of abortions were obtained by women of Hispanic origin.
The 2012 Ohio abortion rate was 10.8 per 1,000 resident women ages 15-44 years. The most recent comparable rate for the US was higher at 15.1 per 1,000 women in 2009. The 2012 Ohio abortion ratio was 174 abortions per 1,000 live births, down from 181 in 2011. Ohio’s abortion ratio is also lower than the 2009 US abortion ratio of 227 abortions per 1,000 live births.
Over half of all induced abortions involved pregnancies of less than 9 weeks, with approximately 28 percent involving pregnancies of 9-12 weeks. The proportion involving abortions of less than 9 weeks increased from 42 percent in 1995 to 57 percent last year, while the proportion between 9 and 12 weeks declined from 40 percent to 28 percent.
There were 367 abortions involving pregnancies of 20 or more weeks. That represents a large decrease from the 525 reported in 2011 and the 915 reported in 1997. The vast majority of abortions in Ohio were obtained in the six largest metropolitan areas.
Ohio Right to Life plans to back legislation that will be introduced soon to make it easier to adopt in Ohio.
"We believe that by giving additional rights and opportunities to birth mothers, birth fathers, and adoptive couples we'll see more adoptions and less abortions," Gonidakis said.
(Photo courtesy Getty Images)