Abortions On The Rise For The First Time In 30 Years, Births On The Decline

The latest data from the Guttmacher Institute revealed that abortions increased nationally for the first time in 30 years, while births have decreased.

Key findings from Guttmacher’s latest Abortion Provider Census reveal that between 2017 and 2020, abortions nationwide increased by 8%. The life-ending medical procedure grew from 862,320 to 930,160 during that time. 

The abortion ratio, the number of abortions per 100 pregnancies, has also increased by 12%.

Women under the age of 44 saw a 7% increase in abortions nationwide. 

The new data also indicated that in 2020, one out of every five pregnancies ended in abortion. 

The impact was not just in one region of the country. The data shows that abortions increased in the Northeast, Midwest, West, and the South. 

Possibly more disturbing, the data showed a 6% decline in the number of babies born in the country.

The data looked at trends in each state but did not provide any specific reasons for those particular trends.

In states such as Illinois, Mississippi, and Oklahoma, there were “substantial increases in the number of abortions.” While Missouri, Oregon, and South Dakota showed substantially fewer abortions in 2020 compared with 2017,” the report noted.

Guttmacher’s report highlighted multiple policy changes that have affected the new numbers of abortions nationwide and what impact those changes may have had on some states.

In 2020, at least 10% of the abortion clinics in New York reported that they had either paused abortion care or stopped providing it altogether due to the pandemic. This may have been a reason for a 6% decline in abortions statewide.

Inversely, Illinois saw a significant increase in abortions statewide between 2017 and 2019. The state experienced a 24% increase in abortions during that time. The growth may be attributed to people from other states traveling to Illinois to utilize state Medicaid funds to pay for abortions, a practice that began in January 2018.

According to the report, Missouri’s decrease in statewide abortion may well be a result of the policy change in Illinois.

Texas saw a 7% increase in abortions between 2017 and 2019. However, the state experienced a 2% drop between 2019 and 2020. Guttmacher attributed the “state’s near-total ban on abortion provision as part of broader COVID-19 restrictions” for the decline.

The report noted that some states expanded Medicaid coverage of abortion care, making it affordable to individuals who may not have been able to afford it otherwise. 

Worth noting, the report states that during the period reviewed by the study, 25 states legislated 168 abortion restrictions and bans.

The report’s release comes during the much-anticipated release of a decision by the United States Supreme Court, which could potentially rescind the decades-old ruling in Roe v. Wade.


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