Anti-Abortion Laws Keep Getting Passed, but State Health Department Notes Large Increase in Reported Abortions

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UPDATE: DHS Director Will Humble drops some knowledge after the jump.

Just about every legislative session, the pro-choice crowd causes a stink with all the anti-abortion bills promoted by the Center for Arizona Policy, and the lobbying organization takes credit for nine such bills being passed into law since 2010.

According to numbers released today by the Arizona Department of Health Services, CAP's hopes and dreams of phasing out abortions don't seem to be working -- the number of reported abortions increased about 26 percent from 2010 to 2011.

Last year, 14,401 abortions were reported to DHS, while 11,438 were reported in 2010.

There is a caveat to that, however.

"Some of the increase in the count of abortions might be attributable to better reporting of abortion data as well as enhanced surveillance," the report says.

While the factors possibly causing increased reporting don't sound that radical -- including Internet-based reporting, more detailed reporting requirements, and training events -- it's still mentioned several times throughout the report.

We're told the DHS director will be available later in the afternoon to comment on that.

UPDATE: DHS Director Will Humble tells New Times that while the large increase may not be completely real, it's certainly plausible that there was an increase in abortions from 2010 to 2011, since the number has been increasing over the last decade. Even with that discrepancy, the abortion rate in 2010 was the highest in the state since 2004. He adds that his experience with changes in reporting systems is that there will be some "statistical noise" going on.

However, in support of the trend presented, Humble points to the teen abortions and teen pregnancies, which reportedly dropped again in 2011, and have been consistently dropping over the past few years.

Aside from the apparent increase, though, there are other statistics released in the report. Last year, just over 99 percent of abortions reported were elective. The rate of teenagers receiving abortions has decreased about 30 percent from 2000 to 2011.

The whole report can be found here.

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