Pro-life researcher refutes new study finding over 10K fewer abortions since Roe's reversal
A pro-life researcher is questioning whether a recent study purporting to show that abortion numbers have declined in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade understated the influence of state laws on protecting preborn children.
The Society of Family Planning, an organization researching abortion and contraception, released the results of its national #WeCountProject on Monday. The study compared the number of legal surgical and medical abortions before the court’s reversal of Roe to the number of abortions committed two months after the decision.
Researchers surveyed abortion facilities nationwide, concluding that over 10,670 fewer abortions took place in July and August compared to data from April 2022. The states that banned abortion after the ruling saw a 95% decrease in abortions from April to August. In states where abortions remained legal with few restrictions, the number increased by 11%.
Analyzing the Society of Family Planning’s study, Michael J. New, an associate scholar at the pro-life research organization Charlotte Lozier Institute and associate research professor at The Catholic University, found several flaws with the research.
In a Tuesday article published by National Review, New noted that the study would appear to show that the overall decline in abortions post-Dobbs decision was rather modest, finding only a 6% decrease in abortions.
While he appreciates the study acknowledging the ruling impacted abortion rates, he expressed skepticism about the data’s accuracy.
One flaw, he said, is that the researchers behind #WeCount only used data from abortion facilities and not state health departments or government agencies.
New also said that the study failed to consider pre-Dobbs abortion declines in states like Texas, which saw abortions decline by more than 60% after its six-week abortion ban went into effect last September.
“Additionally, Oklahoma started enforcing a heartbeat law in early May 2022. Large abortion declines had already taken place in these states prior to Dobbs,” New wrote.
New contends another flaw with the study is that states like Illinois and Maine allow Medicaid funding for elective abortions, and blue states like these already saw abortion number increases because their abortion laws are more permissive.
“Unsurprisingly, the abortion rate increased by 28 percent in Illinois and by 15 percent in Maine,” New wrote in a June statement to The Christian Post. “Part of the Illinois increase was due to more out-of-state women seeking abortions in Illinois.”
New believes the increase likely had a lot to do with the state’s Medicaid program starting to fund elective abortions in 2018.
The pro-life researcher also believes that the abortion pill is linked to a rise in abortion rates.
“Chemical abortions have been increasing as well,” New wrote in the National Review article.
In June, the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute released its abortion data for 2020, reporting that a little over 930,000 abortions took place in the U.S. during the year, an 8% increase in the abortion rate from 2017.
Additionally, Guttmacher found a 7% increase in the abortion rate for women ages 15 to 44, rising from 13.5 per 1,000 women in 2017 to 14.4 per 1,000 women.
One in five pregnancies ended in abortion in 2020, a 12% increase, with the abortion ratio increasing from 18.4% in 2017 to 20.6% in 2020.
A 2019 abortion surveillance report from the U.S.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed the total number of abortions increased by 2% compared to 2018, with the abortion ratio and rate of reported abortions increasing by 3% and 2%, respectively.
February data from the Guttmacher Institute also showed that chemical abortions accounted for 54% of U.S. abortions in 2020.
Samantha Kamman is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.