Abortion Rates Soar in Bordering States: New Analysis Sheds Light on Ban Effects


According to a new analysis, abortions have increased significantly in places where they are still permitted post-Dobbs. The gains have been especially high in states bordered by restrictions, implying widespread travel for care.

The Guttmacher Institute, a sexual and reproductive health research and policy group that supports abortion rights, introduced a new dashboard on Thursday that estimates the number of abortions performed in the United States each month. The estimations are based on a regular survey of a core set of providers and have been expanded to the state level using a model that also takes into account past patterns. The most recent data compare the number of abortions performed in the first half of 2023 to the same time in 2020.

Abortions increased the most in New Mexico and Wyoming, with more than three times as many performed in the first half of 2023 as in the first half of 2020. During that time, the number of abortions in Kansas and South Carolina more than doubled.

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Exploring the Factors Behind Rising Abortion Rates: Beyond the Impact of the Dobbs Ruling

According to Isaac Maddow-Zimet, a data scientist with the Guttmacher Institute and the project’s lead, not all of the increases can be directly attributable to changes resulting from the US Supreme Court’s Dobbs ruling last year. Individual attitudes toward pregnancy may have been influenced by the Covid-19 pandemic, and improved access to prescription abortion via telemedicine may have influenced patterns, among other causes.

Abortions were already on the rise between 2017 and 2020, according to earlier data from the Guttmacher Institute.

Many states that protected abortion access, on the other hand, saw substantially higher rises in abortions between 2020 and 2023 than they did between 2017 and 2020.

Abortions in Illinois, for example, increased 69% between 2020 and 2023, compared to a 25% increase between 2017 and 2020. Similarly, abortions have climbed 124% in South Carolina since 2020, compared to a 4% increase between 2017 and 2020.

Estimates may include the impact of further restrictions imposed since June, such as the six-week prohibition enforced by the South Carolina Supreme Court in August, as monthly updates continue.

Guttmacher Institute estimates include abortions performed in a formal health care environment, such as in-person clinics and telemedicine. Data on self-managed abortions, such as medication abortions offered by AidAccess, are not included in the estimates.

An prior study funded by The Society of Family Planning, a non-profit focusing on abortion and contraception, discovered that there were 25,000 fewer abortions in the United States in the nine months following the Dobbs ruling.


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Source: CNN

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