Pro-life laws are stopping tens of thousands of abortions

Pro-life laws are stopping tens of thousands of abortions

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 previously commented, 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.

"Second, the #WeCount analysis fails to account for the fact that abortion numbers were already increasing in many politically liberal states prior to Dobbs. This is partly due to the trend in rising abortion rates that started in 2018, driven by an increase in chemical abortions. It is partly due to policy changes. In recent years, pro-life parental-involvement laws were repealed in Illinois and weakened in Massachusetts. Also, state Medicaid programs in Illinois and Maine have started covering elective abortions. Some of the abortion increases in these blue states is due to trends and policy changes. It is not all due to women from conservative states seeking abortions in states where abortion laws are more permissive."

Overall, New concludes, the Society of Family Planning’s report is very good news, with laws protecting pre-born human rights in 13 states already paying off and saving tens of thousands of lives. It is true that there have been setbacks in the past year, especially in Michigan and Montana. But it is equally true that the work of a half-century paid off, abortion is no longer a constitutional right in the United States of America, the world’s most powerful democracy, and state-level laws are ensuring that more babies end up in bassinets rather than dumpsters or incinerators.