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The report discovered that the quantity of abortions in the United States has remained consistent.
Science & Health

The report discovered that the quantity of abortions in the United States has remained consistent.

The number of abortions performed each month in the United States is about the same as before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and the nationwide right to abortion more than a year and a half ago, a new report finds.

According to the most recent #WeCount report by the Society of Family Planning, a nonprofit organization focused on researching abortion and contraception, there were an estimated 81,150 to 88,620 abortions per month from July to September last year. This is slightly lower than the monthly average of 86,800 from April to June 2022, both before and after the overturning of Roe.

However, data on abortion follows a seasonal trend, and the survey revealed a higher number of abortions in the spring months of 2023 compared to the previous year leading up to the court’s ruling.

The report reveals that the use of telemedicine to prescribe abortion pills has become prevalent, making up approximately one-sixth of all abortions in the latest three months of the survey.

According to Professor Alison Norris, one of the co-chairs of the study at Ohio State University’s College of Public Health, the need for and seeking of abortion care persists even when it is banned by a state. She stated that it is important to recognize that the consistent number of abortions nationwide does not overshadow the significant unmet need for abortion and the devastating effects of bans on those who already struggle to access it.

According to the report, if abortion had not been prohibited by states, there would have been an additional 120,000 procedures during the surveyed time frame in the 14 states that currently have bans on abortion throughout pregnancy.

The frequency of monthly abortions has significantly decreased in states with bans, but has increased in states that still permit abortion, such as Florida, Illinois, and Kansas, which are close to states with bans.

The collection of monthly data from providers nationwide captures the impact of the reversal of Roe v. Wade on the trends of abortion. In certain states, a portion of the data is approximated. This initiative publicly releases data with a lag of less than six months, providing a faster depiction of trends compared to the annual reports from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which only covers data from 2021.

The report excludes self-managed abortion practices that occur outside of the formal healthcare system, such as acquiring abortion pills from a friend without a prescription.

In June 2022, the Dobbs v. Jackson decision by the Supreme Court led to immediate changes in state policies. At present, 14 states have implemented prohibitions on abortion for all stages of pregnancy, with two additional states having similar bans taking effect after the first six weeks – often before women are even aware of their pregnancy. Some Republican-governed states have implemented less strict restrictions, while the enforcement of certain bans has been halted by courts.

In recent times, numerous states governed by Democrats have implemented measures to safeguard the availability of abortion services. Some have issued executive orders or passed legislation in order to prevent states with abortion restrictions from interfering in investigations involving interstate transactions. Additionally, five states (Colorado, Massachusetts, New York, Vermont, and Washington) have enacted laws to safeguard healthcare providers who offer abortion services through telehealth.

The overall figures in the report encompass instances where healthcare professionals in those regions prescribed medication abortion to patients residing in states with legislation prohibiting or limiting access to the pill versions. However, the report does not specify the exact number of cases in each individual state.

The highest court in the United States is evaluating the validity of the approval process for mifepristone, one of the primary drugs used together for inducing abortions.