Overturning Roe will further decrease lowered abortion rate
Last week, the pro-abortion research group that Guttmacher Institute released new abortion data for 2020. The data are broadly consistent with recent data from the Centers for Disease Control, which also show an uptick in the incidence of abortion in the U.S.
The new Guttmacher data suggest that the abortion rate increased by approximately 7 percent between 2017 and 2020. The increase was fairly widespread, as 28 states reported an increase in the abortion rate over this time period. That said, there was more variance in state abortion-rate fluctuations than is typical. Some states experienced large abortion-rate declines due to abortion facility closures, while others experienced substantial abortion-rate increases due to a rise in women obtaining abortions from out of state.
Unsurprisingly, Guttmacher’s analysis blames the abortion-rate increase partially on the Trump administration’s Protect Life Rule, which prevented recipients of Title X family planning grants from co-locating with abortion facilities or from referring women to get abortions. However, this likely wasn’t the cause of the increase, because the abortion rate started to increase before 2019, which is when Planned Parenthood withdrew from the federal Title X program.
A more likely culprit for the increase is the long-term increase in chemical abortions. According to Guttmacher’s most recent data, 54 percent of all U.S. abortions were chemical abortions in 2020. Abortion facilities and advocacy groups fought to make chemical abortions more widely available during the Covid-19 pandemic, and for part of 2020, a judicial ruling had suspended federal rules requiring women have an in-person medical exam before obtaining a chemical abortion, a change that allowed women to obtain chemical-abortion drugs through the mail.
Despite this recent increase in the incidence of abortion, it is important to remember that pro-lifers have enjoyed impressive, long-term success in reducing the U.S. abortion rate. Between 1980 and 2020, the U.S. abortion rate fell by more than 50 percent. According to Guttmacher’s own data, an important reason for this reduction is that a higher percentage of women are carrying unintended pregnancies to term. Between 1990 and 1994, 50 percent of unintended pregnancies were aborted. That figure fell to 34 percent between 2015 and 2019. This shows how effective pro-life educational, service, and legislative efforts have been. Furthermore, a favorable ruling in Dobbs in the coming weeks will give pro-lifers even more legislative opportunities to build a culture of life.
Like and share this article if you enjoyed! 🙂