Here’s a quandary: A new study from the Guttmacher Institute finds that national abortion rates remained steady between 2005 and 2008 after a 24-year decline that began in 1981. However, reports of harassment from non-hospital abortion providers actually rose from 82 percent in 2005 to 89 percent in 2008, and was particularly rampant among providers in the Midwest and South. Fifty-five percent of providers reported that picketing was the most common form of harassment, while 21 percent reported protesters blocking patient access to facilities in addition to picketers. The study also revealed that the number of national facilities offering abortion services remained the same between 2005 and 2008, but the numbers look different at the state level: 27 states and the District of Columbia lost providers, while nine states boosted their abortion services and 14 states experienced no change in recent years.
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