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Supreme Court's Dobbs decision saves 32,000 babies from abortion: report

JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images
JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

As many as 32,000 babies were saved from abortion in the 13 states that have a total ban on abortion following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs, according to a new report. 

The Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision, handed down in June 2022, led to the reversal of the Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion nationwide after determining that the U.S. Constitution does not confer a right to abortion.

Data compiled by the pro-life advocacy group Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America show that in the past year, 25 states have implemented strong pro-life protections that ban abortions at 15 weeks gestation or earlier. 

The IZA Institute of Labor Economics published a report earlier this month, titled “The Effects of the Dobbs Decision on Fertility.” According to the paper, “In the first six months of 2023, births rose by an average of 2.3 percent in states enforcing total abortion bans compared to a control group of states where abortion rights remained protected, amounting to approximately 32,000 additional annual births resulting from abortion bans.”

The IZA report identified 13 states that had near-total bans on abortion by the end of 2022, and highlighted the relative increase in births to abortions in each of those states: Alabama (18.6%), Arkansas (11.2%), Idaho (11.1%), Kentucky (31.0%), Louisiana (23.3%), Mississippi (26.9%), Missouri (2.4%), Oklahoma (14.7%), South Dakota (12.7%), Tennessee (24.6%), Texas (30.2%), West Virginia (29.7%) and Wisconsin (10.1%).

Conversely, the report classifies the “right” to abortion as “protected” in 24 states: Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington. 

Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America describes these states as having “few or no protections” for unborn babies, as all of them allow abortions until at least the point of viability, referring to the point in pregnancy where the unborn baby can survive outside the womb. 

The IZA report included a third category, “excluded,” to describe the remaining states that either “attempted to enact or enforce a ban but did not effectively do so by the end of 2022, enacted only a gestational age ban by the end of 2022, or are viewed as hostile to abortion and at high risk of enforcing a ban.” 

Human Coalition Action, which describes itself as “a public policy advocacy organization, advocating for preborn children by assisting governing officials in advancing pro-life policies, informing voters about pro-life candidates, and supporting pro-life legal arguments in the Courts,” reacted to the report in a statement published Tuesday. “Every life matters,” said Human Coalition Action National Legislative Advisor Chelsey Youman.

“We supported these transformative laws such as the Texas Heartbeat Act because we knew they would save children and shield women from the horrors of abortion,” Youman added. “We rejoice at every single life protected by these laws.”

The IZA report does not take into account the lives saved by pro-life laws that restrict abortions before 15 weeks gestation but do not completely ban the procedure. Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America lists Georgia and South Carolina as states that have enacted six-week abortion bans, while identifying Nebraska and North Carolina as states with 12-week abortion bans and Florida as a state that has passed a 15-week abortion ban. 

The pro-life advocacy group includes two states categorized as “excluded” by the IZA report as states with near-total abortion bans: Indiana and North Dakota. The IZA paper clarifies that Indiana was excluded from the list of states with abortion bans because its law went into effect in August, suggesting that it did not have “an effect on fertility in 2023.” Similarly, North Dakota was excluded from the list because its abortion ban did not take effect until April. 

Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America singles out Arizona, Iowa, Ohio, Utah and Wyoming as states where pro-life protections are tied up in court. The pro-life organization estimates the number of lives saved by pro-life protections enacted in the 25 states that ban abortions at 15 weeks gestation or earlier, including in the states where the post-Dobbs laws are in litigation, to be 181,849.

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: ryan.foley@christianpost.com

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