Florida’s Abortion Rates Vary Across Counties: Insights Revealed

The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration has recently released its annual reports, providing a detailed account of the number of abortions performed for residents in each county of the state within the first 11 months of 2023. Abortion, a topic that has sparked controversy in recent decades, has led to polarizing debates, with supporters emphasizing women’s bodily autonomy while opponents argue against what they perceive as a form of infanticide.

According to the reports, the total number of abortions performed in the state of Florida in 2023 surpassed 72,000. Of these cases, the overwhelming majority were elective abortions, wherein women made the choice to terminate their pregnancies without explicit justification. State officials disclosed that non-medically necessary abortions, including those for elective, social, or emotional reasons, accounted for over 97% of the cases.

In stark contrast, abortions performed for reasons such as incest, rape, fatal fetal abnormalities, or a threat to the mother’s life constituted less than 0.6% of the total abortions performed in Florida this year, as indicated by the report.

The reports released by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration also shed light on the distribution of abortions across the different trimesters of pregnancy. Approximately 65,000 abortions were performed within the first trimester, while over 6,500 were conducted in the second trimester.

The breakdown of abortions by reason and trimester is as follows:

– Elective Abortion: 51,345 (46,939 in the first trimester, 4,406 in the second trimester)
– Social/Economic Reasons: 16,809 (15,388 in the first trimester, 1,471 in the second trimester)
– Emotional/Psychological Health of Mother: 2,019 (1,814 in the first trimester, 205 in the second trimester)
– Physical Health of Mother (Not Life-Endangering): 1,172 (1,038 in the first trimester, 134 in the second trimester)
– Life-Endangering Physical Condition: 213 (161 in the first trimester, 52 in the second trimester)
– Serious Fetal Genetic Defect, Deformity, or Abnormality: 312 (145 in the first trimester, 167 in the second trimester)
– Incest: 107 (3 in the first trimester, 104 in the second trimester)
– Rape: 907 (119 in the first trimester, 788 in the second trimester)
– Victim of Human Trafficking: 110 (all in the first trimester)
– Fatal Fetal Abnormality: 116 (all in the first trimester)

In an effort to regulate abortion practices, Florida law currently prohibits elective abortions after 15 weeks, which is approximately 3 weeks into the second trimester. However, Governor Ron DeSantis signed the “Heartbeat Protection Act,” a six-week abortion ban earlier this year. The implementation of the 15-week ban is currently on hold pending judgment by the state’s Supreme Court. If deemed constitutional, the six-week ban would come into effect, albeit with certain exceptions.

The law’s title, “Heartbeat Protection Act,” likely stems from the fact that an unborn child’s central nervous system and heart can begin to develop as early as three weeks into a pregnancy, as reported by the CDC.

The 2023 abortion figures in Florida varied across different counties. Dade and Broward counties recorded the highest number of abortions performed, according to the report. Additionally, the report highlights that over 6,500 abortions were conducted out-of-state.

The total number of abortions performed per county is as follows:

– Dade: 14,793
– Broward: 8,894
– Out-of-State: 6,566
– Hillsborough: 6,018
– Orange: 4,768
– Palm Beach: 4,352
– Duval: 3,591
– Pinellas: 2,808
– Polk: 2,085
– Lee: 1,714
– Volusia: 1,094
– Brevard: 1,056
– Pasco: 1,041
– Seminole: 1,037
– Osceola: 1,021
– Leon: 976
– St. Lucie: 844
– Manatee: 752
– Marion: 751
– Sarasota: 732
– Alachua: 724
– Collier: 696
– Lake: 640
– Escambia: 445
– Clay: 397
– Bay: 333
– Hernando: 308
– St. Johns: 305
– Okaloosa: 302
– Indian River: 287
– Martin: 277
– Charlotte: 260
– Flagler: 166
– Citrus: 156
– Highlands: 145
– Columbia: 140
– Santa Rosa: 130
– Putnam: 130
– Hendry: 115
– Nassau: 112
– Gadsden: 100
– Sumter: 86
– Okeechobee: 79
– Walton: 76
– Levy: 74
– Desoto: 64
– Suwannee: 61
– Monroe: 57
– Wakulla: 50
– Baker: 46
– Hardee: 45
– Jackson: 43
– Bradford: 42
– Dixie: 41
– Hamilton: 36
– Madison: 31
– Taylor: 30
– Jefferson: 23
– Union: 21
– Calhoun: N/A
– Franklin: N/A
– Gilchrist: N/A
– Glades: N/A
– Gulf: N/A
– Holmes: N/A
– Lafayette: N/A
– Liberty: N/A
– Washington: N/A

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