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Over 32,000 Fewer Abortions Occurred as a Result of Dobbs, Report Finds

April 12, 2023

A new report released Tuesday revealed that in the six months following the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision that overturned Roe v. Wade, over 32,000 fewer abortions were carried out in the U.S. compared to the average monthly number that occurred before Dobbs. While pro-life advocates are praising the news as compelling proof that pro-life state laws passed in the wake of Dobbs are saving lives, medical experts are also expressing concern that the decrease in surgical abortions is leading to an increase in dangerous chemical abortions.

The report, conducted by the pro-abortion research organization Society of Family Planning, further noted that “states with legal protections for abortion saw a comparably small rise in abortion care” during the same six-month period. This indicates that thousands of pregnant women considering abortion who lived in states with abortion restrictions as a result of Dobbs did not travel to a state with more liberal pro-abortion laws to get an abortion, but instead gave birth to their babies.

An analysis of the report’s data by The Daily Caller found that states that instituted post-Roe abortion bans saw a 96% drop in the average number of abortion per month compared to months before Roe’s overturn. These states included Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. In addition, states with increased post-Roe abortion restrictions also saw abortions decrease, with Georgia, Ohio, and Arizona seeing “average post-Dobbs monthly declines of 1,822, 820, and 755, respectively.”

Mary Szoch, director of the Center for Human Dignity at Family Research Council, welcomed the news as world changing.

“The news that across the country over 5,000 fewer abortions have occurred each month since the Dobbs decision is cause for the pro-life movement to celebrate,” she told The Washington Stand. “Fewer babies are being killed and fewer mothers are being exploited by the abortion industry. Each baby who is born because his or her state decided to protect life in the womb is a testament to the fact that abortion does not simply rewind time and cause a child to never come into existence; instead, it kills an unrepeatable human being whose life changes the world. My hope is that in the upcoming years, these children who were saved because of Dobbs inspire a transformation in the heart of every pro-abortion person they encounter.”

However, as the Society of Family Planning report goes on to note, with the decline in surgical abortions has come an increase in chemical abortions. “[Chemical] abortions provided by virtual clinic telehealth providers increased from 3,610 in April 2022 (4% of all abortions), before the decision, to 8,540 in December (11% of all abortions).”

Experts say that part of what is driving the increase is the relaxation of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) safety protocols that govern the dispensing of abortion pills. Tessa Longbons, a research associate with the Charlotte Lozier Institute, told The Daily Caller that the chemical abortion statistics in the report do not “include the abortion pills that are being shipped illegally.”

This uptick in chemical abortion is immensely worrisome to medical experts, who point to the dangers posed by abortion drugs as well as the lack of studies that have been done on their health effects.

“The FDA did not study young women,” Dr. Ingrid Skop told “Washington Watch” guest host Jody Hice Tuesday. “They’re required by their own laws [to study] women under the age of 18. But there is no lower age limit. Eleven-year-olds, 12-year-olds take these pills and it has never been studied.”

Skop, a senior fellow and Director of Medical Affairs at the Charlotte Lozier Institute, went on to note that the FDA’s rolled-back safety protocols do not bode will for women’s health. “The reality right now is that there is no requirement that a doctor look a woman in the eye, that you do an ultrasound to determine gestational age or rule out ectopic pregnancy that even confirm that it’s a woman seeking abortion,” she explained. “People are getting these pills over the internet. So we know that there’s a lot of malfeasance and people getting the pills who don’t need to have access to them.”

Skop further observed that in studies conducted by her organization, up to 8% of women experienced complications resulting from the abortion pill regimen. “We’ve got to look behind the curtain. We’ve got to see what the data really shows. And we’ve got to recognize in 2020, there are over half a million chemical abortions. If 5% of those women had complications, that means 25,000 women had complications. That is not safe.”

This is why, according to Longbons, the current Texas lawsuit challenging the FDA’s approval process of the abortion pill regimen is “so important.”

Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.