U.S. Abortion Rate Continues to Decline, Reaching Historic Low in 2017
Regional and State Disparities in Abortion Access Have Widened
September 18, 2019
News Release, Guttmacher Institute
The U.S. abortion rate dropped to 13.5 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 in 2017, the lowest rate recorded since abortion was legalized in 1973 and an 8% decline from 2014, according to a new Guttmacher report by Rachel Jones, Elizabeth Witwer and Jenna Jerman. The number of abortions also declined to 862,320 in 2017, 7% fewer than in 2014. Birthrates declined in almost all states during this period, indicating that fewer people became pregnant, not that more individuals chose or were made to give birth rather than have an abortion.
The Guttmacher Institute’s 18th census of all known abortion-providing facilities in the United States identified 808 clinic facilities providing abortions in 2017, a 2% increase from 2014. However, during that time, longstanding regional and state disparities in abortion access grew even more pronounced: The number of clinics increased in the Northeast (by 16%) and the West (by 4%) and actually decreased in the Midwest (by 6%) and the South (by 9%). In 2017, 89% of U.S. counties did not have a clinic that provided abortion services, and 38% of women of reproductive age lived in these counties.
After Abortion Ban Attempt in Alabama, a Flood of Confusion and Phone Calls
August 27, 2019
by Catherine Trautwein
Pro-choice demonstrators protest outside the state capitol during the March For Reproductive Freedom in Montgomery, Alabama May 19, 2019. (Seth Herald/AFP)
Almost daily, the Reproductive Health Services clinic in Montgomery, Alabama, receives several versions of the same call: “Are y’all still doing abortions? Have they outlawed it in Alabama? Where can I go?”
The confusion is understandable. In May, Gov. Kay Ivey signed into law the Alabama Human Life Protection Act, which aimed to outlaw abortions in all cases except when the mother’s life was at risk. The passage of the strictest anti-abortion measure in the country made national news.
'We should be terrified': What Michigan women should know if abortion becomes illegal
If the Supreme Court overturns the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, Michigan and other states could see a patchwork of abortion laws in the nation.
Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press
Aug. 8, 2019
Renee Chelian remembers keeping her head bowed and counting the pairs of shoes of the women sitting around her.
Chelian was 15 and too frightened to take in her surroundings or look at the faces of the many women who sat with her, waiting for an abortion at the Detroit warehouse where the floor was covered in grease stains, and folding chairs and card tables served as the only furniture.
Abortion Rights in Peril — What Clinicians Need to Know
Elizabeth Nash, M.P.P.
August 8, 2019
N Engl J Med 2019; 381:497-499
This year, 2019, has become a critical time for abortion rights, with an unprecedented surge of abortion bans sweeping across the United States. Through June 1, some 26 abortion bans have been enacted in 12 states, and many more have been introduced by state legislators.
Yet state efforts to undermine abortion rights and access have been under way since the 1973 decisions in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton affirmed the constitutional right to abortion. During that time, the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly affirmed the right to abortion while also modifying the legal framework that shapes access to care.
Missouri and the Fight for Abortion Rights: How Past Became Prologue
Missouri’s historic battle for abortion rights presaged in important ways where we are today, and what will be required of reproductive rights advocates in the future.
Aug 1, 2019
The time, the late 1960s; the place, St. Louis, Missouri. Judy Widdicombe, a twenty-something self-described supermom, was raising two boys with her husband, working as a labor and delivery nurse in a Catholic hospital, and volunteering one night a week as a counselor on a suicide prevention hotline.
“In those days, there was no official place a woman with an unwanted pregnancy could go for help,” she told me when I interviewed her for my book, The Choices We Made: 25 Women and Men Speak Out About Abortion.
New Laws Deepen State Differences Over Abortion
July 30, 2019
By: Christine Vestal
More state abortion laws were enacted this year than at any time since 1973, the year the U.S. Supreme Court decided in Roe v. Wade that women have a constitutional right to end their pregnancy.
Many of the new laws — either banning or protecting the right to abortion — came in reaction to President Donald Trump’s second nomination of a conservative justice to the high court, creating the possibility that the historic abortion rights decision could be overturned.
Inside The Dangerous Rise Of ‘Abortion Reversal’ Bills
This year, five states have passed laws mandating that physicians tell patients their abortions can be reversed — even though evidence says otherwise.
By Melissa Jeltsen, HuffPost US
June 29, 2019
The number of states that require doctors to tell patients their abortions can be reversed with an experimental treatment doubled this year.
The rise of so-called “abortion reversal” bills has alarmed leading medical groups that say such legislation forces physicians to give misleading, unscientific and potentially dangerous advice to women, undermining the trusted doctor-patient relationship.
States Lead the Way in Promoting Coverage of Abortion in Medicaid and Private Insurance
Adam Sonfield, Guttmacher Institute
Elizabeth Nash, Guttmacher Institute
First published online: June 24, 2019
Advocates and policymakers working to ensure that everyone can afford an abortion scored a number of important victories within just a few days of each other: On June 13, Maine Gov. Janet Mills signed a law expanding abortion coverage in private insurance and Medicaid. Just one day earlier, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker had signed a law expanding private insurance coverage of abortion as part of a broader abortion rights law. The same week, New York City allocated $250,000 to a nonprofit abortion fund to directly assist patients, including patients traveling from other states.
This burst of action builds on a nationwide push to overturn the Hyde Amendment, which currently bans abortion coverage under Medicaid and other federal health coverage programs. Expanding coverage will help people overcome one substantial barrier to abortion—the cost of abortion services—and will be particularly important for people with low incomes, people of color and people with disabilities.
These states are strengthening abortion laws even as others dismantle them
By Tami Luhby, CNN
Sat June 22, 2019
Washington (CNN)The red-state drive to ban or severely limit access to abortion this year has sparked the opposite reaction in Democratic-led states, where lawmakers are cementing abortion rights and making it more accessible.
Driving the moves on both sides is the rightward shift of the US Supreme Court, which is fanning fears on the left that the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that made abortion legal in the US could be gutted or overturned altogether.
New York could become first city to provide abortion funding
By Caroline Kelly, CNN
Sat June 15, 2019
(CNN)New York is slated to become what abortion activists say would be the first city in the country to provide funding for abortions.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, both Democrats, announced a budget agreement Friday that included funding for individuals seeking abortions in the city.