By Jonathon Van Maren
Roe v. Wade is gone, and long-delayed abortion restrictions have gone into effect across the United States. So: are those laws working? Are we seeing less abortions performed or—put another way—are babies who would have been killed in the womb surviving because of these protections?
Roe has been gone for only four months, of course, so in many states it is simply too early to tell. Some women are driving out-of-state to procure abortions; others are ordering abortion pills through the mail. Abortion activists are promoting “do-it-yourself” manuals to walk women through feticide in their own homes. But despite that, there is some encouraging news.
At National Review, pro-life researcher and statistician Dr. Michael New analyzed recent abortion data released by the Society of Family Planning and concluded that, based on reviews of various abortion clinics, and comparing the decline of abortions in states with abortion restrictions with the rise in abortion rates in other states, “a total of 10,000 fewer abortions took place in June and July—a relatively modest decline, about 6 percent, in the incidence of abortion.” Still—that is 10,000 people.
Dr. New is more bullish about the impact of the Texas Heartbeat Act, which came into effect in early May and, he says, “reduced the number of abortions performed in Texas by more than 60 percent.” The Oklahoma heartbeat law, he observes, also precipitated a pre-Dobbs decline in the abortion rate.
A recent report in the Texas Tribune concurs with New’s analysis, noting that the “number of abortions performed monthly in Texas declined from a few thousand to less than 10 after the state implemented a near-total ban on the procedure this summer, new data shows.” New studies cited by the Tribune observed that while some women are traveling out of state or aborting their children at home, “these alternatives have not fully compensated for the in-state declines.”