Over One Million Abortions Recorded in 2023, Marking Decade Milestone

In 2023, the United States reached a decade high with over one million abortions across the country. This rise has largely been driven by a significant increase in medication abortions, and states with supportive abortion rights have taken steps to increase their availability.

A New Report

The Guttmacher Institute just released a report that said in 2023, and there were over one million abortions in the United States for the first time in over a decade. This marks the first time that the number of abortions in the United States formal healthcare system has surpassed one million abortions since 2012.

Isaac Maddow-Zimet, a data scientist with Guttmacher Institute, said, “That’s the highest number in over a decade, [and] the first time there have been over a million abortions provided in the U.S. formal health care system since 2012.”

Of the one million terminated pregnancies in 2023, medication abortions accounted for 63% of all U.S. abortions, a 53% increase from a similar report made in 2020.

A Big Part of the Story

Maddow-Zimet also said, “Certainly the increase in availability of medication abortion through telemedicine is a big part of this story – that’s something that really wasn’t largely available in much of 2020 and is much more available now.” 

Currently, there is a large debate going on around the increased use of medical abortions, as conservatives are quick to point out the potential medical complications that can come as a result. The risks associated with unsupervised ingestion of abortion medications range from causing hemorrhage to complications from ectopic pregnancies.

Outside the System

Given the fact that this study only looked at abortions made using the overly expensive U.S. formal healthcare system, it is also very likely that the real numbers of abortions could be far higher.

Dr. Anitra Beasley, an OB-GYN and professor at Baylor College of Medicine, said, “This is probably an undercount because they are not looking at abortions that happen outside of the formal health care system.” The increase in medication abortions has been attributed to expanded access to medications, like mifepristone and misoprostol, through telemedicine and regulatory changes.

The rise in medication abortions was primarily seen in rural areas, where they saw the largest increase in accessibility for clinics to receive medication and provide it for patients looking to terminate their pregnancies.

Overturning Wade

Since the conservative majority of the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022, there have been abortion bans and restrictions placed in several states, and yet the number of abortions in the United States reached a 10-year high in 2023.

The paradox of increasing restrictions while also increasing the total number of abortions is the result of supportive abortion policies increasing access and the rise of telemedicine services offering medication abortions. Now that there has been such a high increase, the conservative majority Supreme Court is now reconsidering legislation on medical abortions due to safety concerns and ideological debates.

On this, Dr. Maddow-Zimet said, “We don’t know what the Supreme Court will decide, and we don’t know exactly what the impact will be, except that it will create potentially more of that confusion and difficulty for people both providing care and needing to access care.” 

Legal Protections

However, in states with more supportive abortion policies, there are legal protections for patients and providers that protect them against prosecution from more restrictive states. In many of these states, there are data privacy and malpractice insurance laws, and in six states, there are even telemedicine shield laws.

The study from the Guttmacher Institute also revealed that there have been significant increases in abortions for states like Illinois, Virginia, and New Mexico that border states with bans.

Following the overturn of Roe v. Wade in 2022, it was reported that over 160,000 women crossed their state border to receive abortion services after the decision was made.

The post Over One Million Abortions Recorded in 2023, Marking Decade Milestone first appeared on Swift Feed.

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