Jun 24, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Abortions are down 3% one year after the end of Roe v. Wade

Note: Includes abortions provided by clinics, private medical offices, hospitals and virtual-only clinics. Months with less than 10 abortions are represented as 0; Data: #WeCount/Society of Family Planning and Census Bureau; Map: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Nationwide, legal abortions have fallen about 3% in the year since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, and the ruling’s aftershocks are still reverberating through American health care, politics and culture.

Where it stands: Abortion access has effectively disappeared in some parts of the country as Republican lawmakers act on decades of promises to impose near-total bans if they could.

  • Clinics in some blue states have seen enormous influxes of new patients, many of them crossing state lines.
  • Planned Parenthood of Illinois — a blue island in the Midwest's sea of red — has seen a 54% jump in abortion patients over the past year, Axios’ Tina Reed, Oriana González and Torey Van Oot reported.

What's next: More abortion restrictions will likely take effect over the next several years.

  • Some have been proposed but are tied up in the courts. Some GOP lawmakers may want to try to wait out the intense political backlash to the Dobbs decision before going further.

Reality check: They may be waiting a very long time.

  • "The last election was surprising to a lot of people in the way that [abortion] really became a lightning rod, and had such a significant impact on the outcome," Brendan Buck, a longtime aide to former House Speaker Paul Ryan, told Axios' Oriana Gonzales.
  • "I don't know that the party has really figured out what to do about that."
  • Buck added that GOP candidates are "probably hoping that they can avoid the issue to a certain degree. But I imagine we're going to learn once again, this is not going away — and that, once again, this is a liability politically."
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