Staff graphic by Jenny Porter Tilley
Staff graphic by Jenny Porter Tilley
Thursdays are busy in the 400 block of South College Avenue in Bloomington.

On average, 18 women each week have an appointment at Planned Parenthood of Bloomington to make a decision on the future of a pregnancy. Greeted by protesters who are quick to give goodie bags and scripture recitals, patients from all over the state experience a more tense visit then they would any other day at the third-busiest abortion clinic in the state.

Groups of people from different church congregation kneel, pray and hold rosaries, while escorts help patients into the building as safely as possible for their appointments.

In 2018, Indiana’s rate was 5.7 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44, according to the terminated pregnancy report from the Indiana State Department of Health published June 30. Overall, 7,263 Indiana residents had an abortion in the state last year — 91 more than in 2017 and 493 more than in 2016. But in counties across the Hoosier Times region — which includes Monroe, Morgan, Lawrence, Owen, Orange, Brown and Greene counties — those rates are higher or growing.

Abortion rates are calculated within the 15 to 44 age range, which the state and federal government consider to be child-bearing age — but nearly 1% of abortions in Indiana in 2018 were administered on patients outside that age group, as young as 12 and as old as 49.

The number of county residents who had an abortion in a given year is published in each terminated pregnancy report, but rates for individual counties are not published by the state. To compare the rates of individual counties with the state rate, Hoosier Times staff calculated the number of women ages 15-44 per 1,000 women for every county in Indiana since 2012. Data was collected from the annual terminated pregnancy reports and the U.S. Census Bureau’s population projections for each year.

Many of the counties with the highest rates in the state, which include some in the Hoosier Times region, are either home to or adjacent to a county with an abortion clinic. Women in Indiana can only get a legal abortion in one of four counties: at Planned Parenthood clinics in Monroe, Tippecanoe, Lake and Marion counties, and at two other clinics and four hospitals in Marion County.
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