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How the Number of Abortions Has Changed Post Roe

How the Number of Abortions Has Changed Post Roe
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Abortions have increased substantially in most states where they remain legal.

(CNN) — Abortions have increased substantially in most states where they remain legal post-Dobbs, according to a new analysis. The increases have been particularly significant in states bordering others with bans, suggesting widespread travel for care.

The Guttmacher Institute, a research and policy organization focused on sexual and reproductive health that supports abortion rights, launched a new dashboard Thursday that estimates the number of abortions provided in the United States each month. The estimates are based on a regular survey of a core set of providers and broadened to the state level using a model that also factors in historical trends. The latest findings compare the number of abortions provided in the first half of 2023 to a comparable period in 2020.

New Mexico and Wyoming had the largest increase in abortions, with more than three times as many provided in the first half of 2023 compared with 2020. The number of abortions also more than doubled in Kansas and South Carolina in that time.

Overall, the data suggests that there were thousands more abortions in the states where the procedure remained legal in the first half of 2023 than there were nationwide during six months of 2020 — up from about 465,000 to nearly 511,000.

However, the new data is based on a model with a broader margin of error than counts from earlier years, making national estimates less certain. Estimates from the Guttmacher Institute represent abortions provided within formal health care settings, including in-person clinics and telehealth. Estimates do not include data on self-managed abortions, such medication abortion provided by AidAccess.

And not all of the increases can be directly attributed to changes that resulted from the US Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision last year, said lsaac Maddow-Zimet, a data scientist with the Guttmacher Institute and lead for the new project. The Covid-19 pandemic may have affected individual attitudes toward pregnancy, and expanded access to medication abortion through telehealth could have affected trends, among other factors.

Earlier data from the Guttmacher Institute shows that abortions had already been on the rise between 2017 and 2020.

However, many states that protected abortion access saw much larger increases in abortions between 2020 and 2023 than they did between 2017 and 2020.

In Illinois, for example, the number of abortions jumped 69 percent between 2020 and 2023, compared with a 25 percent increase between 2017 and 2020. Similarly, in South Carolina, abortions increased 124 percent since 2020, compared with a 4 percent increase between 2017 and 2020.

As monthly updates continue, estimates may reflect the impact of additional restrictions that been put in place since June, such as the six-week ban that was upheld by the South Carolina Supreme Court in August.

An earlier analysis sponsored by The Society of Family Planning, a nonprofit focused on abortion and contraception, found that there were 25,000 fewer abortions in the US in the nine months after the Dobbs decision.

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