Hawaii's abortion rate drops more than any other state

Hawaii's abortion rate drops more than any other state
Published: Jun. 8, 2015 at 9:31 PM HST|Updated: Jun. 8, 2015 at 9:58 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Since 2010, the number of abortions have dropped nationwide by 12 percent. That's only a fraction of the 30 percent decline seen in Hawaii.

"I definitely think that today's youth are making wiser, healthier decisions," said Hawaii Family Forum President Eva Andrade.

Andrade, like many others, believes the decrease has a lot to do with education.

"I think parents are becoming more responsible about what is happening in their household and really becoming more active in having communication with their kids on issues like this," said Andrade.

Officials from Planned Parenthood credit the change to the Hawaii's sex ed policies. Five years ago, lawmakers passed a bill requiring all sexual

health education provided in the classroom to include information on abstinence as well as pregnancy and prevention on sexually transmitted diseases.

"Education is everything, it's very important," said Honolulu resident Devon Kitashiro.

"Education, improving relationships I feel like that just pushes people in a better direction generally in life," said college student Gabriella Munoz.

Some health experts believe the state's high rate of use of long term birth control likely plays a role in the decline, as well as accessibility to emergency contraceptives.

The morning after pill started being sold over the counter in 2013.  Teens as young as 14 can buy it without parental permission.

"A lot of people have family doctors and you don't want your family to know.  You don't have to schedule an appointment to go in.  It's faster," said Honolulu resident Lea Laramee.

Planned Parenthood sent Hawaii News Now a statement that reads in part:

"Hawaii's approach to health care is almost certainly driving the decline as women have increased access to health insurance and sexual and reproductive health care, including contraception."

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