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The Abortion Rate Is At Its Highest Since 2011

The Abortion Rate Is At Its Highest Since 2011

More abortions happened in 2023 than any year since 2011, according to a new report.

The Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health research group, says an estimated 1,026,690 abortions were performed in 2023. That’s a 10% increase from 2020, the last year for which comprehensive estimates are available.

Experts predicted the number of abortions would decline following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in 2022, but the new report shows that the number is rising. With abortion now restricted or banned in 21 states, how is that possible?

160,000 people crossed state lines last year to obtain an abortion in a state with no restrictions. And the populations in those states also got abortions at a higher rate than previously. But the majority of abortions came through prescribed medication — commonly mifepristone and misoprostol — which can be easily obtained online. The use of abortion pills increased by 60% since 2022, and has become the most common way for women to terminate their pregnancies as it has become easily accessible and cheaper than surgical abortions, even in states with abortion bans.

However, that could change very soon.

This Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear a case brought by the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine challenging laws that have expanded access to mifepristone. Those policies, issued in recent years by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, have allowed the pills to be prescribed online, mailed to patients and dispensed at physical pharmacies. The case could restrict access to the abortion pill around the country, including to women living in states even without abortion bans.

The number of abortions in the United States peaked in 1990 at 1.6 million and over the following 30 years, the number declined, falling to 885,000 in 2017. In 2019 and 2020, however, that trend began to reverse, with the number of abortions rising to 930,160 in 2020, and now, 1,026,690 in 2023. The last time there were nearly that many abortions was back in 2011, which saw an estimated 1,058,490 abortions.

© 2023 RELEVANT Media Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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