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Abortion numbers up as Indiana lawmakers consider further restrictions

According to a state report, abortions dropped significantly from 2015 to 2016, but went up and stayed above the 2016 numbers through 2020.

INDIANAPOLIS — Abortions are currently legal in Indiana, but Republican lawmakers have promised to put in place additional restrictions. The news comes as reports show the number of and rate of abortions are increasing nationwide and in Indiana.

According to the state’s 2020 Terminated Pregnancy Report, abortions dropped significantly from 2015 to 2016. However, the number of abortions went up and stayed above the 2016 numbers through 2020.

In Indiana, unmarried women are most likely to get an abortion, but 15% of them were sought out by married women. White women made up 49% of cases, however, Black women made up 34% of abortions despite representing less than 10% of Indiana’s population that year. More than half, 62% of the women terminating their pregnancy were mothers with living children.  

In 2020, the state reported 7,372 abortions by residents. The rate was 5.7 per 1,000 15- to 44-year-olds. When including nonresidents, the number of in-state abortions increased to 7,756 with the majority of out-of-state pregnant women coming from Kentucky.

RELATED: Abortion is still technically legal in Indiana. Here's what current law states

However, the Guttmacher Institute reports its 2020 survey learned of 124 more abortions and listed the rate at six abortions per 1,000 women. The research and policy organization says its provider census does not include miscarriages or treatment of ectopic pregnancies.

The institute reports a decades-long national trend of fewer abortions is reversing, reporting the country was experiencing fewer births and more abortions. The group attributes the change to a number of changes including COVID-19 and more people having access to abortion funds. 

After years of Indiana lawmakers trying to chip away at abortion rights, the Supreme Court will make it easier for states to pass restrictions and bans. The Court struck down Roe v. Wade last week. The 1973 decision made access to an abortion a constitutional right. More than half the states in the U.S. will consider further restricting access to both medical and surgical abortions.

In Indiana, abortions are legal right now, but limited.

Surgical abortions are banned after a pregnancy reaches the 22-week mark. There are some exceptions for later abortions, like if the mother's life is at risk.

RELATED: Hoosiers flood downtown Indy for protests, rallies over abortion ruling

State law requires two appointments and an 18-hour waiting period before a person can get an abortion. Health care providers must tell patients there are alternatives to abortion before a procedure happens. Most minors must get parental consent to get an abortion.

Indiana requires medication abortions take place before a pregnancy reaches 10 weeks. The pregnant woman must get the medication from a doctor and take the pills in front of a physician. Telemedication abortions are banned.

The state legislature will meet for a special session starting July 25 to discuss the issue. The Republican supermajority has made it clear it plans to further restrict access to abortions.

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