According to a new report, the number of abortions in the United States is increasing, reversing the decline over the last 30 years.
The rise began in 2017, with one in five pregnancies, or 20.6%, ending in 2020, according to a report from the Guttmacher Institute, a research institute that supports the right to abortion. In 2017, 18.4% of pregnancies ended with an abortion.
The Institute, which contacts all known abortion providers in the country and collects data, reported that the number of abortions increased from 862,320 in 2017 to 930,160 in 2020. It increased by 10% in the Midwest, 8% in the South, and 2% in the Northeast.
Overall, the abortion rate rose to 14.4 per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44 in 2020, up 7% from 13.5 per 1,000 women in 2017.
According to the report, the number of births nationwide decreased by 6% during this period. This means that “fewer people are pregnant and a high percentage of pregnant people choose to have an abortion.”
New data are revealed as the Supreme Court will soon issue a ruling that could effectively upset the standards of the Roe v. Wade case, which has legalized abortion in the United States for nearly 50 years. If that happens, about half of the states are expected to promptly ban or significantly limit abortion, and other states are preparing to increase patient access from states where abortion is not available.
The report suggested several reasons for the increase in abortion. This includes a tendency to directly affect the poor and low-income earners who are most likely to seek abortion in recent years. According to the report, Medicaid’s coverage of abortion has expanded in some states, and abortion funds that provide financial support to patients have expanded in recent years.
Another factor could have been the Trump administration’s policy to prevent the program funded by Title X’s family planning from mentioning abortion options to patients. It may have reduced access to other family planning services, including contraception for low-income earners, leading to more unintended pregnancies, the Guttmacher report said. The Biden administration then withdrew its policies during the Trump era.
The increase in abortion occurred when many conservative states were enacting restrictions. However, according to the report, 25 states set 168 limits between 2017 and 2020, some were suspended by legal opposition, and many were already set by states with many limits. As a result, the new law may not have been able to prevent abortion anymore.
At the same time, other states have enacted 75 provisions to protect or expand access to abortion. This includes requesting insurance to cover abortion and enabling nurse practitioners, physician midwives and certified nurse midwives to provide abortion services.
The data included most of the first year of the coronavirus pandemic. During that time, access to abortion was suspended in some states, according to the report, but some states maintained access to abortion due to both ban attempts and restrictions on outbreaks and face-to-face health care. did. In addition, for some parts of 2020, a judge’s decision allowed patients to have an abortion drug, which accounts for more than half of the country’s abortion. This is a permanent practice of the Food and Drug Administration in December 2021.
The report’s findings are consistent with the latest data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with a slight increase in the number of abortions between 2018 and 2019, when the CDC had the data. CDC data collected from state health agencies does not include information from California, Maryland, or New Hampshire.