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Over 130 abortion clinics have closed since 2022: Operation Rescue

An exam room at the Planned Parenthood South Austin Health Center is shown following the U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down a Texas law imposing strict regulations on abortion doctors and facilities in Austin, Texas, U.S. June 27, 2016.
An exam room at the Planned Parenthood South Austin Health Center is shown following the U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down a Texas law imposing strict regulations on abortion doctors and facilities in Austin, Texas, U.S. June 27, 2016. | Reuters/Ilana Panich-Linsman

More than 130 abortion facilities in the United States have closed down since last year, with nearly 50 shuttering so far in 2023, a new report by the pro-life organization Operation Rescue suggests. 

The activist organization released its annual survey on abortion clinics in the U.S. on Wednesday, finding that 49 closed thus far in 2023 after 88 closed in 2022, the most closures in one year since 2013. 

At least 53 abortion clinics either newly opened or resumed providing abortions in 2023, the report notes, with 79% of them offering only abortion-inducing drugs and 21% offering surgical abortions.

Overall, according to Operation Rescue, the total number of abortion clinics in the U.S. dropped from 683 in 2022 to 670 in 2023, which is far below the 2,176 abortion clinics that were open in 1991.

"After the overturn of Roe v. Wade, some clinics packed up and moved to other states that have little or no protections for in utero infants — states like New Mexico and Illinois," noted the annual survey.

"However, the expense and risk involved with such a move is significant considering that, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, one in five U.S. businesses fail within the first year of operation."

After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June 2022 that the U.S. Constitution does not confer a right to abortion, Operation Rescue lists 14 states as being "abortion free," which it defined as having "laws in place that protect incalculable numbers of innocent babies from being murdered in the womb."

Those states include Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia.

"The overturn of Roe v. Wade is undoubtedly saving lives. And the enduring efforts of faithful Americans on the pro-life side are paying off and having a winning effect," said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman.

"We celebrate countless babies saved in communities all over the nation as a result of 14 states becoming abortion free. Daughters, sons, and grandchildren live today that would not have lived otherwise."

The Supreme Court's ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson overturned its landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling and the 1992 decision Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

"The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision," wrote Justice Samuel Alito for the Dobbs majority. 

"Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division."

Since the ruling, several states banned abortion in most circumstances, prompting many abortion providers to either close down or stop performing the procedure.

According to a recent report by the Germany-based IZA Institute of Labor Economics, the overturning of Roe and passing of state-level abortion bans has resulted in "approximately 32,000 additional annual births." 

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