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The latest annual count of abortions performed in the state by the Ohio Department of Health showed a slight increase in 2021, a year before Roe v. Wade was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court this summer.

The latest annual count of abortions performed in the state by the Ohio Department of Health showed a slight increase in 2021, the year before Roe v. Wade was beaten the US Supreme Court this summer.

Data showed that 60% of abortions occurring in the state were at less than nine weeks’ gestation. Although some lawmakers and anti-abortion groups in the state have called for an end to “late-term” abortions, state data still show that pregnancies after 21 weeks are extremely rare, accounting for less than 1% of abortions.

Of the terminations after 19 weeks of pregnancy in 2021, two were found to be viable and 484 were non-viable.

When determining the gestational age of an aborted pregnancy, an ultrasound scan is most often performed to find out the age.

The state receives the data through a “confidential abortion report.” One change was made to the report in 2021, after a law was passed requiring doctors to verify that a pregnant person “is not seeking an abortion because of a test result that indicates the presence of Down syndrome, a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome, or any other reasons to believe that the unborn child had Down syndrome.”

In 2021, the state reported 9.3 abortions per 1,000 residents between the ages of 15 and 44, with the majority of abortions (29.5%) occurring in pregnant women between the ages of 20 and 24.

Of those who reported having an abortion in Ohio, the majority (nearly 8,000 of those who had an abortion) had two or more living children.

“While the age distribution of women having abortions has remained relatively unchanged since 2004, abortion rates among women under the age of 25 have been steadily declining,” the report said.

The majority of pregnant women who had “race-reported” abortions were black (49%), with white abortions accounting for 42.6% of all race-reported abortions.

State researchers said the “vast majority” of reported abortions occurred in six major metropolitan areas, with Cuyahoga accounting for 31.1 percent of them. Summit County reported 16.3% of all abortions; In Hamilton and Franklin counties — 16%; while Montgomery saw 15.9% and Lucas County saw 4.6%.

Responding to the question, the legislators tried to solve through the bill about what they called “failed abortions”, the state reported only two of the 31 abortions in which the complication was listed as “failed abortions” on confidential abortion report forms.

Postabortion Complications Reports recorded 115 abortions with complications, 44 of which were reported as “incomplete” abortions and 47 as “failed” abortions.

The data will undoubtedly be affected by the implementation of a ban on six-week abortionswhich took place a few hours after Dobbs a decision that overruled Roe v. Wade in the US Supreme Court, despite the abortion law now on hold in the Hamilton County Courthouse.

ODH said they only count Ohioans’ abortions that occurred in the state, so any Ohioans — e.g. A 10-year-old rape victim who traveled to Indiana for abortions while the six-week ban was still in effect, and others who said they traveled to other states for abortion – will not be taken into account in the annual report.

“The last few months have really brought attention to the fact that every one of these numbers is an individual, an individual who needed abortion help and was able to get the help they needed. For several months in 2022, Ohioans have not had this opportunity,” Jaime Miracle, associate director of Pro-Choice Ohio, said in a statement about the report.

With the six-week abortion ban temporarily suspended by Hamilton County Judge Christian Jenkins, abortion is currently allowed in Ohio up to 22 weeks after the last menstrual period.

Anti-abortion groups are now counting on the state to uphold moves by the US Supreme Court to overturn the nationwide legalization of abortion.

“Right to Life Ohio will continue to advocate for life in communities across the state and in our state government,” Right to Life Ohio President and Ohio State Medical Board member Mike Ganidakis said in a statement on behalf of ORL.

This story was originally published Ohio Capital Journal and republished here with permission.

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