By Jonathon Van Maren
With the fall of Roe v. Wade, the American abortion wars have escalated, with some states passing or implementing protections for pre-born children while others legalize feticide until birth or turn their states into “abortion sanctuaries.” Democrats are determined to run on the issue, while many Republicans who weren’t particularly pro-life to begin with wish to run away from it — but a new report from the Society of Family Planning indicates that the pro-life movement’s hard work is paying off.
In the six months since the Dobbs decision last year, there were 5,3777 fewer abortions on average every month, with the average number of abortions between July and December of 2022 being 77,073, a drop of 7% from the average between April and May. Significantly, states with pro-life laws saw the lowest abortion rates—as Bloomberg reported, in “Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin — there were 265 abortions per month on average from July to December. That’s a 96% drop from April and May.”
One key reason for this, Bloomberg noted, is that the “average American now lives 275 miles further from an abortion facility than before the decision” and patients “are increasingly relying on telehealth services for abortion care. In April, virtual care accounted for 4% of all abortions; by December it was 11%, according to the report.” The report indicates that a total of 32,260 fewer abortions were committed in the United States in the six months after Roe fell.
Pro-lifers are naturally skeptical of data coming from pro-abortion sources, but Dr. Michael New, a pro-life statistician, noted that there may in fact be better news:
As I have commented before, the #WeCount estimate likely understates the actual abortion decline resulting from state-level pro-life laws. This is for two reasons. First, some states were already enforcing strong pro-life laws prior to the Dobbs decision. Texas started enforcing a Heartbeat Act on September 1, 2021. My Charlotte Lozier Institute analysis of Texas birth data found that the Heartbeat Act alone was preventing approximately 1,000 abortions from taking place in Texas every month. Additionally, Oklahoma started enforcing a Heartbeat Act in May 2022, which also resulted in a large pre-Dobbs abortion decline.