2005 Utah Resident Abortions: 3,279 . Over the last decade Utah has maintained lower abortion rates than those of the nation (see chart 1). The rate represents the number of abortions per 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 44. While both Utah rates and national rates have been decreasing , Utah rates remain on average nearly one third that of the national rate. Utah rates for the decade peaked in 1996 at 6.9; they have decreased to 6.0 and remained constant from 2002 to 2004 . Although the population of women aged 15 to 44 has been increasing along with the number of births and abortions, the abortion ratio (the number of abortions per 1,000 births) has been decreasing over the last decade, as shown in table 1 .
Requirements for an abortion increased over the last decade. In 1993, a mandatory 24 hour waiting period was introduced. The patient must also receive “face to face” consultation at least 24 hours prior to the procedure covering: the affect of the procedure on the fetus, the risks and alternatives to having an abortion, including information on adoptions services; the age and development level of the fetus at the time of the procedure; and the medical risks of maintaining the pregnancy to term. As of May 1, 2006, abortion providers are required to obtain consent from a parent or legal guardian of a minor prior to the procedure .
Table 1 gives the estimated population of women between the ages of 15 and 44 and the total number of resident abortions from the years 1995 to 2005. Chart 2 breaks down the total resident abortions into four year range age groups for 2004 and shows women between the ages of 20 and 24 represented the highest age group obtaining abortions in 2004, at 1,187 reported residential abortions. The age group with the lowest number of abortions was 45 and over, at nine, followed by 15 and under, at ten.
The number of abortion providers decreased 43% in the last decade. In 1996 there were seven abortion providers in Utah, in 2000 there were four. These abortion providers are in urban areas, and 93% of Utah counties do not have an abortion provider.6 Provo-Orem is the only metropolitan area without an abortion provider.
- Utah Vital Statistics: Births and Deaths, 2005. Available online at http://health.utah.gov/vitalrecords/pub_vs/ia05/05bx.pdf. Accessed January 23, 2007.
- National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion: Abortion Surveillance, United States, 2003. Available online at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5511al.htm. Accessed January 8, 2007.
- Utah’s Vital Statistics: Abortions, 2004. Available online at http://health.utah.gov/vitalrecords/pub_vs/ia04/04apdf. Accessed January 23, 2007.
- Utah Vital Statistics: Births and Deaths, 2005. Available online at http://health.utah.gov/vitalrecords/pub_vs/ia05/05bx.pdf and Utah’s Vital Statistics Abortions, 2004. Available online at http://health.utah.gov/vitalrecords/pub_vs/ia04/04apdf. Accessed January 23, 2007.
- U.C.A. 76-7-304 and U.C.A. 76-7-305
- Guttmacher Institute. State Facts About Abortion, Utah. Available online at http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/sfaa/utah.html. Accessed January 1, 2007.