Correction: The number of abortions to Idaho residents in 2009 and 2011 has been corrected. A previous version included the number of abortions occurring in Idaho, not among Idaho women, for those years.
The number of abortions among Idaho women rose 36 percent between 2001 and 2011, according to a report from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.
The figure for Idaho residents peaked at 2,348 in 2009 and fell to 2,005 in 2011. There was, in recent years, a slow uptick in repeat abortion seekers and a fast uptick in women using nonsurgical means to end their pregnancies.
But a couple of things haven't changed: Idaho has about two-fifths the national average of abortions per live births. And a large share - about 40 percent, on average - occur in other states.
Every Idaho county had women traveling to another county or state to end their pregnancies in 2011. For the Panhandle, at least, that was likely because the nearest Planned Parenthood clinics are just across the state line in Spokane and Pullman. Washington made up about 72 percent of the out-of-state abortions between 2001 and 2011.
But the exporting of abortions might also be due to Idaho's relative dearth of places for women to go to end their pregnancies, according to the regional Planned Parenthood organization.
"When women need it, they find it difficult to access," said Kristen Glundberg-Prossor, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest.
A new clinic opening next month in Meridian will be the third one in Idaho, serving the county where nine of every 10 abortions take place in the state. Abortion services at Planned Parenthood cost $600 to $1,200, depending on the provider, Glundberg-Prossor said.
Few of the patients come for abortions, she pointed out. Most seek reproductive health and contraception services.
The Boise Health Center at 3668 N. Harbor Lane, off State Street, had 5,218 patients come for 8,087 visits in 2011. The clinic performed 973 abortions that year.
At the Twin Falls clinic, 203 of the 1,436 visits included abortions.
Planned Parenthood found that Meridian would be convenient for many patients who have been driving to the Boise clinic, so it decided to open an office there instead of in neighboring Canyon County.
The fact that many uninsured Idahoans will acquire health insurance in 2014, under provisions of the Affordable Care Act, also motivated the organization to open the clinic.
"When all of these new people get health insurance, they are certainly going to need more options," Glundberg-Prossor said. "The brunt of our patients are women in their childbearing years, and they access more health care" that Planned Parenthood provides, such as testing for sexually transmitted diseases, cervical cancer screenings, well-woman checkups and yearly exams.
Audrey Dutton: 377-6448, Twitter: @IDS_Audrey