Downtown Omaha, NE Skyline Photo credit: Shannon Ramos (CC-By-SA 2.0)
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Downtown Omaha, NE Skyline Photo credit: Shannon Ramos (CC-By-SA 2.0)
Downtown Omaha, NE Skyline
Photo credit: Shannon Ramos (CC-By-SA 2.0)

Abortion statistics in Nebraska are showing large numbers of women from Iowa having abortions in Nebraska—many times more than women from Nebraska’s other neighboring states.

In 2013, 129 abortions in Nebraska were performed on women from Iowa, compared to 24 from South Dakota, 18 from Kansas and none from Colorado that same year. In 2012, 185 abortions in Nebraska were women from Iowa, compared to 26 from Kansas, 24 from South Dakota and 1 from Colorado. (See chart below for more numbers)

Nebraska’s Statistical Report of Abortions for 2013 shows that 77 of the 185 Iowa abortions were on women from Pottawattamie County, the county just across the river from Omaha, that includes Council Bluffs.

The report does not tell where the abortion numbers are coming from, but Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, headquartered in Des Moines, covers both Iowa and Nebraska. Their two abortion centers in Omaha and Lincoln offer medication abortions up to 8 weeks and 6 days, or essentially 9 weeks, into a pregnancy. (Medication abortion is a cocktail of pills that kill the baby and cause the woman to hemorrhage at home up to four weeks until the baby is expelled).

Planned Parenthood’s Lincoln and Omaha centers also offer surgical abortions up to 16 weeks and 6 days, essentially
17 weeks. Bellevue, a suburb of Omaha, is also where late-term abortionist, LeRoy Carhart operates.

Planned Parenthood’s Iowa abortion centers in Sioux City and Council Bluffs also offer medication abortions up to 8 weeks and 6 days.

The Planned Parenthood website says Sioux City still offers surgical abortions (which they call “in-clinic” abortions), but recently Planned Parenthood attorneys, arguing against the Iowa Board of Medicine’s ban, said that Des Moines and Iowa City were Planned Parenthood’s only centers in Iowa “where a physician is physically present,” according to an article in the Des Moines Register (“Iowa Supreme Court allows telemedabortion system,” Des Moines Register, 9/16/14.)

It could be Iowans are crossing the border for abortions beyond 9 weeks.  It’s also possible that some of these abortions are Iowans attending college in Nebraska.

Planned Parenthood centers in Iowa will abort more developed babies than in Nebraska—up to 19 weeks and 6 days into a pregnancy in Des Moines and up to 21 weeks and 6 days in Iowa City, according to Planned Parenthood’s website.

Nebraska’s stats are much more detailed than Iowa’s. They include the reasons women had abortions, as well as the methods that were used. For example, 1,162 Suction—curettage abortions in Nebraska in 2013, 100 Dialation and Evacuation (used in later term abortions) and 914 medication abortions. Iowa currently just has abortion stats through 2012.

For more on Nebraska’s stats on abortion, visit: http://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/srd_srdindex.aspx

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