Abortions rise in US, reversing 30-year decline, report says

The number of abortions in the United States has increased, reversing what had been a three-decade decline, according to a new report . ...


The number of abortions in the United States has increased, reversing what had been a three-decade decline, according to a new report.

The rise began in 2017 and, as of 2020, one in five pregnancies, or 20.6%, ended in abortion, according to the report by the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that supports the right to abortion. In 2017, 18.4% of pregnancies ended in abortion.

The institute, which collects data by contacting all known abortion providers in the country, said the number of abortions rose to 930,160 in 2020 from 862,320 in 2017. The number rose in all regions of the country: 12% in the West, 10% in the Midwest, 8% in the South and 2% in the Northeast.

The new data was released as the Supreme Court prepares to issue a decision that could effectively strike down Roe v. Wade who legalized abortion in the United States for almost 50 years. If the court’s final ruling is similar to a draft advisory that leaked last month, about half of states are expected to quickly ban or severely restrict abortion, while other states are preparing to expand access to patients from states that make abortion unavailable.

Overall, according to the new report, the abortion rate fell in 2020 to 14.4 per 1,000 women aged 15-44, compared with 13.5 abortions per 1,000 women in that age group in 2017, an increase of 7%.

During this period, according to the report, births nationwide fell by 6%, meaning that “fewer people became pregnant and, of those who did, a greater proportion chose to become pregnant.” to abort”.

The report, which found that the number and rate of abortions increased in 33 states and the District of Columbia, said “there were no clear patterns” to explain each state’s trajectory. He suggested several reasons for the national increase, including trends that directly affect low-income people, the population most likely to have abortions in recent years: some states have expanded Medicaid coverage for abortion, and the funds that provide financial assistance to patients wishing to have an abortion have been expanded.

Another factor may have been the Trump administration’s policy of preventing programs that received federal money for family planning, known as Title X funds, from mentioning the option of abortion to patients. This rule has caused Planned Parenthood and several state governments to refuse to accept Title X funding, which may have reduced access to other family planning services, including contraception, for people with low income, and led to more unwanted pregnancies, according to the Guttmacher report. The Biden administration has since reversed the Trump-era policy.

The increase in abortions came at a time when many conservative states were imposing new restrictions on the procedure. But the report says that while 25 states enacted 168 abortion restrictions from 2017 to 2020, some were stopped by legal challenges and many were enacted by states that already had significant restrictions, so the new laws might not have prevented many more abortions.

At the same time, other states have enacted 75 provisions to protect or expand access to abortion, including requiring insurance to cover abortion and allowing nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and nurse midwives to women certified to provide certain abortion services, according to the report.

“It shows that people in every state are seeking abortions despite restrictive measures in many states,” said Leslie Reagan, a historian of American medicine and public health at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The data included most of the first year of the coronavirus pandemic. The report says that while access to abortion was interrupted in some states during this time, both due to attempted bans and due to outbreaks and limits on in-person medical care, some states have maintained access to abortion. Additionally, for part of 2020, a judge’s decision allowed abortion pills, which represent more than half of the nation’s abortionsto mail to patients – a practice the Food and Drug Administration has made permanent in December 2021.

Dr Reagan, who wrote a book called ‘When Abortion Was a Crime’, said she believed the ‘severe unemployment and food insecurity that followed the shutdown’ during the pandemic had also fueled the increase in abortion. “A lot of people couldn’t feed themselves and their existing families and knew they couldn’t support a child.”

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, released a statement decrying the rise in abortions. “The pro-life movement must continue to educate its fellow Americans, and pro-life lawmakers at the state and federal levels must be as ambitious as possible in seeking consensus,” she said.

A press release from her group said the new report found “a substantial increase in abortion in states like California, Illinois and New York, which have expanded abortion policies in recent years and where there are virtually no limits to abortion until birth”.

In fact, the percentage increase in the number of abortions in these states was lower than in some conservative states, such as Mississippi, where the number of abortions increased by 40% from 2017 to 2020, and Oklahoma, where the number of abortions increased by 103% during the same period. this time.

The growth in Mississippi is striking as it is a 2018 Mississippi law banning most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy that is currently before the Supreme Court. The Guttmacher report said residents of Mississippi used to get abortions in surrounding states, but because those states passed restrictions that led to clinics closing, more patients went to the only Mississippi abortion clinic.

Oklahoma just passed the toughest in the country ban on abortion, but from 2017 to 2020, the increase in abortions there was likely due to the fact that many patients had traveled there from Texas, which has many restrictive laws. Yet the new report showed that the number of abortions also increased in Texas during those years – by 5%, the same percentage increase as in New York.

Of the 17 states where the number and rate have declined, by far the largest drop was in Missouri, which had 4,710 abortions in 2017 and 170 in 2020. The report says the drop is due to that patients in Missouri had requested abortions in Illinois, where the number of abortions increased by 25 percent during this period.

A handful of states in every region of the country saw declines, including five of nine Northeastern states, a reflection of the complex influences that determine who requests abortions and where they get them.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Abortions rise in US, reversing 30-year decline, report says
Abortions rise in US, reversing 30-year decline, report says
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