Overturning of Roe vs Wade Fails to Preserve Life as U.S. Abortion Deaths Reach Highest Level in a Decade

The overturning of Roe vs Wade in 2022 that returned the issue of abortion back to the states has failed to reduce the number of abortions, according to the latest research.

According to a report released this week by the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, there were over one million abortions in 2023, the highest rate in more than a decade and a 10 percent increase in 2020.

The report notes:

Increases in the number of abortions were close to universal—almost every state without a total ban saw an increase in the number of abortions provided, as compared to 2020.

The 10% increase at the national level in many ways understates the degree to which health systems, providers and support networks have had to scale up care. This is because it does not speak to the large shifts in where people are able to obtain abortions: states without total bans experienced a 25% increase in abortions provided in 2023, as compared to 2020.

Most Republican states have limited access to the procedure, although many women travel out of state to have their abortions.

According to Guttmacher, the increase is also a result of additional efforts on behalf of abortion advocates to provide access to the procedure:

In part, this is because the drastic loss of access in states with bans has been counterbalanced by monumental efforts on the part of clinics, abortion funds and logistical support organizations to help people in ban states access care through financial and practical support. States bordering ban states had particularly large increases.

In total, abortions in these states increased by 37% between 2020 and 2023, with particularly sharp increases in Illinois (38,010 more abortions than in 2020, or an increase of 72%), New Mexico (15,090 more abortions, an increase of 257%), Virginia (14,190, an increase of 76%) and North Carolina (12,970, or 41%). Much of the increase in these states was due to increased travel across state lines. Illinois, for example, provided abortion care to an estimated 25,660 more patients from out of state, accounting for 68% of its overall increase.

The statistics make for depressing reading for pro-life activists, many of whom believed the Dobbs decision would mark greater preservation of life across the United States.

However, the figures may also undermine part of the Democratic Party’s election strategy amid reports that the supposed Catholic Joe Biden is planning to make abortion a central issue of his campaign.

Trump, meanwhile, has indicated that he wants Republicans to take a moderate position on the issue over fears that it is electorally damaging.

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