The number of abortions performed in York County rose in 2011, bucking a statewide trend.
Abortions statewide dropped to 36,280, or by about 1.4 percent from 2010 to 2011, according to statistics released by the state Department of Health.
But abortions performed in York County increased 6 percent to 735, the highest number since 2006. And the number of abortions performed on York County women went from 579 in 2010 to 606 in 2011. It's the highest number since 2007.
Planned Parenthood, 728 S. Beaver St., is the only location in York County where abortions are performed.
Andrea Dolak, development director for Planned Parenthood of Northeast and Mid-Penn, said the increase in abortions in York was not significant enough to speculate on, and could have been because of a number of different factors, but it is "almost impossible to say" why the increase occurred in York.
By age: The largest number of abortions in York County was on women age 20 to 24, with 216 abortions.
In contrast, 139 abortions were performed for women 25 to 29 years old; 77 for women between 30 and 34; 68 for women 18 or 19; 67 for women 35 to 39; 20 for women 40 or over; 17 for 15- to 17-year-olds; and two for girls younger than 15.
Of the 67 counties in Pennsylvania, 35 had a decrease in the
number of abortions from 2010 to 2011. Five percent of abortions in Pennsylvania in 2011 were performed on residents from other states.
According to the Department of Health numbers, there has been a 44.8 percent decrease in abortions performed in Pennsylvania since 1980, when 65,777 were reported.
In 2011, 92.8 percent of abortions in the state were performed during the first trimester. More than 88 percent of abortions performed were for unmarried women.
Complications: The number of complications reported rose 78.7 percent, from 61 reports of complications in 2010 to 109 reports in 2011.
Although the reports of complications reported by physicians increased, the increase is not statistically significant, said Dolak.
The increase of complications was most noticeable in the 2011 statistics, but any explanation on that increase would be speculative, said Aimee Tysarczyk, director of communications for the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
More than 65 percent of the complications were attributed to "retained products of conception," which means fragments of fetal, placental or membrane tissue remaining in utero after an abortion, which pose an increased risk of bleeding or infection, said Tysarczyk.
The department collects the data as directed by the Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act, she said.
As of 2011, there were 65 licensed hospitals and 24 non-hospital licensed facilities that provide abortions in Pennsylvania.
Since the way the data were collected has not changed, Tysarczyk said there is no definitive rationale for the statewide decrease in abortions.
Reaction: Lora Abel, director of Human Life Services, 742 S. George St., York, said it's difficult to pinpoint the reasons for the statewide decrease in abortions, but the increased use of products such as the morning-after pill, which women can take before they know whether they are pregnant, could be the reason.
"I'd like to think the impact of better technology where women are actually seeing their unborn baby and able to connect with their unborn baby is another factor," said Abel.
Abel said she hopes to see legislation passed in the future requiring women to see the ultrasound before having an abortion.
The Women's Right to Know Act, a mandatory ultrasound bill introduced in Pennsylvania in 2012, did not pass.
Human Life Services provides free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, options counseling, and educational pre-natal and parenting programs to support women.
Planned Parenthood health centers provide life-saving cancer screenings, birth control, prevention and treatment of STDs, breast health services, pap tests, sexual health education, information and health counseling, said Kim Custer, interim CEO of Planned Parenthood of Central Pennsylvania.
-- Reach Chelsea Shank at 505-5432 or firstname.lastname@example.org