Number of U.S. Abortions Increased 8 Percent During Trump Administration, Reversing 30-Year Trend: ‘The Need for Abortion Care Is Growing’

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A protest in opposition to a proposed six-week abortion ban in Columbus, Ohio, in April 2019. (Becker1999 / Creative Commons)

A new report launched final week by the Guttmacher Institute exhibits the variety of abortions in the US elevated by 8 % in the course of the Trump-Pence administration—from 862,320 in 2017 to 930,160 in 2020. Total, fewer folks grew to become pregnant, however amongst those that did, a bigger proportion selected to have an abortion. About one in 5 pregnancies in 2020 resulted in abortion. Guttmacher’s Abortion Supplier Census is essentially the most complete information assortment effort on abortion provision within the U.S.

“A rise in abortion numbers is a optimistic growth if it means individuals are getting the healthcare they need and wish,” wrote the authors of the examine.

Researchers counsel a number of elements could have contributed to this improve, together with extra unintended pregnancies because of the Trump-Pence administration’s “domestic gag rule.” which dramatically slashed Title X household planning providers and entry to contraception. Different doable elements embrace expanded entry to Medicaid protection of abortion healthcare in blue states and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This analysis reveals a dramatic reversal of a 30-year development of declining numbers of abortion, “underscoring that the necessity for abortion care in the US is rising simply because the U.S. Supreme Courtroom seems prone to overturn or intestine Roe v. Wade,” in line with the Guttmacher report.

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The long-term decline in abortions in the US that began 30 years in the past has reversed. (Guttmacher Institute)

A draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Ladies’s Well being Group leaked in early Could indicated that the Supreme Courtroom was preparing to overturn the 49-year-old precedent Roe v. Wade, which acknowledged the constitutional proper to abortion healthcare. States legislatures have handed a record-breaking variety of restrictions this 12 months, together with abortion bans and civil bounty hunter legal guidelines in Texas and Oklahoma. If Roe is overturned, 26 states are sure or prone to ban abortion, and Republican leaders have already acknowledged they are going to push for a nationwide abortion ban protecting all 50 states.

“Somewhat than specializing in decreasing abortion, insurance policies ought to as an alternative middle the wants of individuals and shield their proper to bodily autonomy,” wrote the Guttmacher researchers.

In response to the report, the variety of abortions elevated in all 4 areas of the nation between 2017 and 2020. The rise was largest within the West (12 % improve) and Midwest (10 % improve); abortions elevated 8 % within the South and a pair of % within the Northeast.

However there was vital variation throughout and inside states. In some states—together with Illinois, Mississippi and Oklahoma—there have been substantial will increase within the variety of abortions. In others—similar to Missouri, Oregon and South Dakota—there have been considerably fewer abortions in 2020 in contrast with 2017.

Expanded Medicaid coverage of abortion healthcare doubtless contributed to extra abortions in some states, together with a 25 % improve in Illinois and a 16 % improve in Maine, which additionally required non-public medical health insurance plans to cowl abortion healthcare for the primary time.

The elevated variety of abortions in Illinois was additionally attributable to folks coming from close by states that imposed new restrictions, similar to Missouri, the place the variety of abortions decreased from 4,710 in 2017 to 170 in 2020.

Illinois really elevated the variety of clinics from 25 in 2017 to 30 in 2020. (A recent study confirmed that general, the variety of abortion amenities in the US elevated from 774 in 2017 to 790 in 2021, however with vital geographic variation).

COVID-19 had various impacts on abortion numbers throughout states. In hard-hit New York, the place a minimum of 10 % of clinics paused or stopped offering abortion care early within the pandemic, the variety of abortions dropped six % between 2019 and 2020. In the meantime, the variety of abortions dropped in states like Texas and Alabama, which imposed COVID-19 restrictions on abortion healthcare, falsely deemed “nonessential,” however the variety of abortions in surrounding states elevated, doubtless attributable to girls touring from restrictive states to seek out abortion healthcare.

The Guttmacher researchers famous different elements that doubtless contributed to state variation and general improve within the variety of abortions, together with elevated fundraising by native and nationwide abortion funds so they might assist extra folks pay for his or her abortions, elevated abortion restrictions and bans (25 states enacted 168 legal guidelines between 2017 and 2020, a few of which had been blocked by courts), and 75 new provisions to guard abortion rights (repealing restrictions, increasing insurance coverage protection and permitting extra certified clinicians similar to nurse practitioners, doctor assistants or licensed nurse midwives to offer a minimum of some abortion care).

“The Supreme Courtroom is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade at a time when want for abortion care has been growing,” concluded the report. “This implies the affect of the ruling might be much more devastating than predicted by prior analyses, significantly for folks throughout the nation who already battle to entry abortion care.”

Sign and share Ms.’s relaunched “We Have Had Abortions” petition—whether or not you your self have had an abortion, or just stand in solidarity with those that have—to let the Supreme Courtroom, Congress and the White Home know: We is not going to quit the fitting to secure, authorized, accessible abortion.

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