NRL News

Pennsylvania Abortion Rates Rise; Pregnancy Resource Centers Provide Alternatives

by | Jan 8, 2021

By Bonnie Finnerty, Education Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The number of abortions in Pennsylvania increased in 2019 by slightly more than 2% according to the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, an affiliate of National Right to Life.

Statistics released by the Pennsylvania Department of Health show 654 more abortions occurred in 2019 compared to 2018. In all, 31,018 abortions took place in 2019, with 25-29 year old women being the largest age group having abortions (29.9%), followed by 20-24 year old women (27%). Abortions for females under 18 dropped slightly to 2.4%.

Abortion among white women decreased slightly, while abortion among Black and Latino women increased. Chemical abortions increased by 4.6%. Over 47% of the women had experienced at least one prior abortion. Eighty-seven percent of the women were unmarried.       

Five counties accounted for 83% of total abortions: Allegheny, Delaware, Montgomery, Northampton, and Philadelphia, which itself accounted for 47% of the abortions.  An average of 85 babies died by abortion every day in 2019.

“It is disturbing to see an increase in abortion, especially late term abortion, when we know babies are pain-capable,” said Bonnie Finnerty, Education Director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation.  

“And it is alarming that there was a 59% increase in complications from abortions, putting vulnerable women at great risk while sentencing their children to deathHad Governor Wolf signed pro-life legislation such as the Dismemberment Bill in 2017, these numbers would be lower.”

But he and the abortion industry have no interest in decreasing abortion.

In contrast, Pregnancy Resource Centers across Pennsylvania have seen an increase in services, providing ultrasounds, material goods, life-skill classes and daycare referrals.Women can find authentic care and support in the Pregnancy and Parenting Support Program, which is administered by Real Alternatives, Inc. ( ),” Finnerty added.

According to Kevin Bagatta, President and CEO of Real Alternative, Inc. “In 1995, Pennsylvania was the first state to provide taxpayer dollars dedicated to provide free services to women in unexpected pregnancies to encourage childbirth rather than abortion. To date, the program has served over 325,000 women of the Commonwealth.

“We are grateful to the citizens of the Commonwealth for the financial resources they provide to the program so 440 counselors throughout the state can serve thousands of women in unexpected pregnancies. Their dedication led to our program serving 11% more clients in 2019 than 2018,” said Bagatta.

“We must continue to reach out to women to let them know that help is available for themselves and their babies, whether they choose to parent or place for adoption,” said Finnerty. “They do not have to choose between their child and their future. They can have both.”