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Medi-Cal abortion numbers differ in Northstate counties

Published On: Jan 23 2014 02:12:17 AM CST
Updated On: Jan 23 2014 01:48:55 PM CST
CHICO, Calif. -

When it comes to Medi-Cal funded abortions in the Northstate, there are some big discrepancies between Butte and Shasta Counties.

According to numbers from the California Department of Health Care Services, between 2008 and 2010, Butte County reported an average of 909 Medi-Cal funded abortions.

In that same time period, Shasta County saw some 57 percent fewer Medi-Cal funded abortions, with an average of 390 reported each year.

Butte County has 40,000 more residents, but that alone can't explain the difference in the numbers.

Brenda Dowdin is the executive director of the Women's Resource Clinic on the Esplanade in Chico, a pro-life clinic that offers counseling and all available options to pregnant women who seek their advice.

She says the difference may have to do with Butte County's more youthful population.

"Of course that we are a college town and if you add up all of the young people from freshman in high school through college age, through senior in college, it's about 32,000 young people," Dowdin says.

Of course that fact alone can't account for the disparity because women choose to get abortions for a variety of reason, including financial stability, timing in life and support from family and loved ones.

But considering that 58 percent of women who choose to have abortions are in their 20s, the difference in demographics between Butte and Shasta county certainly could play a role.