Oct 24, 2023 - Health

Abortions increased the year after Roe was overturned

Data: Society of Family Planning, Census Bureau; Note: Includes abortions provided by clinics, private medical offices, hospitals and virtual-only clinics. 2022 population estimates used. Months with fewer than 10 abortions are represented as 0; Chart: Jacque Schrag/Axios

The number of legal abortions in the United States increased in the year after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. But they decreased sharply in states with total bans or strict limits on the procedure.

Why it matters: A string of state bans and restrictions on abortion hasn't lowered the overall abortion rate, according to a new report from the Society of Family Planning, a group that supports abortion rights.

  • That could soon change because of newly enacted restrictions in states that border others with heavy abortion restrictions.

By the numbers: In states where it's legal after six weeks, there were nearly 117,000 more abortions reported between July 2022 and June 2023 compared to baseline data from April and May 2022, according to the report.

  • Meanwhile, there were about 115,000 fewer procedures in states that ban or restrict abortions after six weeks.

The states with the largest increases were Illinois (21,500), Florida (20,460), North Carolina (11,830), California (8,810) and New Mexico (8,640).

  • States with the largest declines include Texas (36,970), Georgia (19,660), Tennessee (13,930), Louisiana (9,110) and Alabama (7,620).

Between the lines: Many of the states with large increases border those with abortion bans and serve as access points for people traveling out of state, the report notes.

  • North Carolina and Florida in particular have been major access points in the South, where abortion is heavily restricted. But new laws likely would mean far fewer procedures performed in those states.
  • In North Carolina, the number of abortions fell 31% the month after a 12-week ban took effect in July, according to the Guttmacher Institute.
  • Florida's Supreme Court is weighing a case that could allow the state to implement a six-week ban.
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