Abortion at Highest Level in Over a Decade

Abortions in the United States hit their greatest levels in 2023 despite the Supreme Court’s 2022 Dobbs decision, overturning Roe v. Wade and giving the issue of abortion back to the states.

According to the Monthly Abortion Provision Study, an estimated 1,026,690 abortions occurred in 2023, or about 15.7 abortions per 1,000 women of reproductive age.

The number is also a 10% increase from 2020.

U.S. abortions were greatest in 1990, with 1.6 million. Over the next thirty years, the rate of abortion steadily declined until 2020. In 2017, there were 885,000 abortions, but that number increased to 930,160 in 2020.

“While access has decreased dramatically in states with bans, almost all other states have experienced substantial increases in the number of abortions provided,” pro-abortion organization Guttmacher Institute wrote. “As a result, the United States continues to face a fractured abortion landscape, with access varying widely based on where people live and what resources they have.”

States that bordered those with abortion bans saw surges in abortions, increase 37% between 2020 and 2023. Illinois had a 72% increase in abortions, while New Mexico’s abortion increased 257%, Virginia by 76%, and North Carolina by 41%.

Much of the increase in abortions can be attributed to access to abortion-inducing drugs. The Guttmacher Institute’s report said that the “use of telehealth to provide medication abortion via mail increased considerably” after the FDA “lifted in-person dispensing requirements of mifepristone.”

The distribution of mifepristone may also enable pregnancy terminations by “allowing sex traffickers and sexual abusers to force their victims into getting abortions,” according to a lawsuit against the drug.

American Faith reported that pharmacy chains CVS and Walgreens are offering mifepristone to customers in six Democratic states.

CVS will sell the drug in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, while Walgreens will sell the drug in New York, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania.

Similarly, New York City unveiled a virtual abortion-on-demand program in October, making it the first city in the U.S. to offer abortion pills without an in-person visit for individuals looking to terminate their pregnancies. The program, available seven days a week from 9am to 9pm, facilitated virtual consultations for women up to 10 weeks pregnant seeking medical abortions.