Uh-oh. Looks like anti-abortion political grandstanding and getting shouty at press conferences doesn't actually do anything to reduce the number of abortions in a state. Case in point: Arizona — a state chock full of lawmakers so shirt-rendingly pro-life that it just passed the country's most restrictive 20-week no-exceptions-for-rape abortion ban — has actually seen a 25% increase in abortions in the past year.
To say that the 20-week ban itself was somehow causing the increase would be disingenuous; the measure has been tied up in legal wrangling since it was signed into law by the state's governor Jan Brewer (fun fact about Jan Brewer: she doesn't have any mirrors in her house, because she doesn't have a reflection). And the state's health director, abstinence-only-education proponent Will Humble, says that the 25% jump is due to enhanced reporting techniques that the state now requires, and that his "don't do sex" method is working because the number of teen pregnancies is dropping in the state.
But state Health Director Will Humble said he cannot say for sure that really means more pregnancies were terminated in 2011 than before. He said it may just be that his agency, armed with a new law that took effect in mid 2010, is just getting a better data.
Humble said, though, that one thing is clear: The number of teens getting pregnant in the first place continues to drop.
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