As across the country, the number of births in Georgia fell last year from 126,250 in 2019 to 122,379 in 2020. According to the US Census, Georgia added nearly 108,000 residents between 2019 and 2020.

Staci Fox, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeast, said she wasn’t surprised that abortions continued to be performed in 2020, even during a pandemic that brought most of the state to a standstill in the spring.

“People’s health needs don’t stop in a pandemic,” she said. “I think given the state of the world – with the pandemic and economic stress and health concerns – people with such insecurity do not want to start or expand families. They just don’t believe that having a baby is the best decision now, and that’s okay. “

Joshua Edmonds, executive director of the Georgia Life Alliance anti-abortion group, said he was pleased with the slowdown in the increase compared to last year.

“It certainly reflects the policies Georgia has put in place over the past three years,” Edmonds said, citing expanded funding for low-income mothers who receive Medicaid – the public health program that cares for the poor and the disabled. “As a result, we see that women in Georgia feel more empowered to choose life today than they did three years ago.”

After years of decline, the number of abortions increased by nearly 4% from 2017 to 2018 and by more than 7% from 2018 to 2019.

While the number of abortions performed in Georgia declined for about 25 years, there was a similar increase in 2016, when the number of interventions rose by nearly 3,000.

The number of abortions has fallen by about 6.8% since 1994, largely due to improved access to various forms of birth control, experts say. Georgia had about 7 million inhabitants according to the 1994 census. By 2020 there were 10.7 million.

Proponents said the tough anti-abortion law passed by the Georgia Legislature in 2019 was an attempt to further reduce the number of abortions performed in the state.