A recent study by the Guttmacher Institute recorded an 8% increase in the number of abortions in the United States from 2017 to 2020, in contrast to the nearly three-decade decline in women’s abortions.
But a closer look at the results obtained from a comprehensive survey of each known benefit of abortion providers in the United States reveals a wide variety of abortion trends across states. While 33 states reported an increase in the number of abortions, 17 states saw a decrease. And the swings above or below are interesting.
Among the states that have grown the most: Oklahoma (+ 103%); Mississippi (+ 40%); Idaho (+ 31%); Kentucky (+ 28%); And New Mexico (+ 27%). Among the states with the most falls are: Missouri (-96%); South Dakota (-74%); West Virginia (-31%); Wyoming (-29%); And Louisiana (-26%).
Significantly, states such as California and New York, which have pushed for the expansion of abortion funds and services in recent years, have seen dramatic gains of 16% and 5%, respectively.
Guttmacher, a research firm that supports the right to abortion, noted that some state-level swings were inherent, as women in states that have enacted laws restricting access to abortion have entered neighboring states to take care of them. This is thought to be a driving factor behind the 103% growth in Oklahoma, where Texas women – a state with one of the country’s strictest abortion laws – sought care before Oklahoma passed its own ban on almost all abortions in May.
The report’s authors cite other factors, including state-level diversification of access to government funding for low-income abortion care and regulations regulated by the Trump administration that have disrupted the country’s Title X family planning clinic network, a significant low- or no-cost source of contraception. The Biden administration has replaced those rules.
Following the Supreme Court’s decision to end the strike on June 24, the sharp inequality of state abortion trends is expected to increase further next year. Rowe vs. WadeExcluding the country’s long-standing federally-guaranteed abortion rights and leaving the matter to state lawmakers.
Philip Rees is a data reporting expert and assistant professor of journalism at California State University-Sacramento.
The story was produced by KHN, which publishes the California Healthline, an editorially independent service of the California Health Care Foundation.
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