MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The number of abortions performed in Wisconsin increased for a second straight year in 2018 after eight years of declines, the latest report from the state Department of Health Services shows.
Abortions increased 7% in 2018 over 2017, the report said. There were 6,042 abortions in Wisconsin in 2018, up from 5,640 the year before. That’s nearly double the rate of increase between 2016 and 2017 when abortions went up 3.7%.
The report does not attempt to explain the increase which came despite no loosening of state laws related to abortions. Abortions had dropped steadily from 2009 until 2017.
Pro-Life Wisconsin, an anti-abortion group, said the latest data showed the need to outlaw abortion. Abortion rights advocates have been trying unsuccessfully to pass a bill in the Legislature to ensure abortion remains legal in Wisconsin in case the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision that legalized it is overturned.
Republicans who control the Legislature passed a number of bills restricting abortion access in recent years. Democratic Gov. Tony Evers last year vetoed for Republican-backed bills designed to limit the number of abortions.
The latest report showed that women ages 20 to 24 had 30% of the abortions in 2018, the most of any age group.