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Telehealth Medication Abortions Have Increased 137% Since Dobbs Decision

Though overall abortions have declined, women in restrictive states are seeking abortion pills and travel to abortion-friendly states

Since the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision last year to overturn Roe v. Wade, telehealth medication abortions provided through virtual clinics have increased.

While the number of abortions overall saw a decline of two percent between April and December 2022, abortions obtained through virtual-only services increased by 137 percent, according to a new report from the Society of Family Planning (SFP).

As numerous red states rush to pass laws further restricting abortion, or had trigger laws in place effectively outlawing the procedure in most cases after the Court’s decision, “the data suggests that many abortion seekers living in restrictive states may have traveled to other nearby states” for the procedure, according to the report.

In a separate part of the report, SFP says women “in states with abortion bans were forced to travel to another state” to undergo the procedure.

SFP is a left-wing, pro-abortion advocacy group that views abortion as necessary healthcare, as stated in the organization’s 2022 annual report.

During the six months after the Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, there were an average of 5,377 fewer abortions in the U.S. each month, SFP said.

Additionally, “The national abortion rate decreased from 13.2 per 1,000 women of reproductive age in the month April to 12.3 per 1,000 women for the monthly average of abortions in the six months following the Dobbs decision,” the group said.

However, SFP added “abortions provided by virtual clinic telehealth providers increased from 3,610 in April 2022 (4% of all abortions), before the decision, to 8,540 in December (11% of all abortions).”

In states that still allowed abortion, there was an increase of 11,150 more women who had abortions.

The report also says:

States with the largest increases in the total number of abortions provided by a clinician during the six-month period after the Dobbs decision compared to baseline include Florida (7,190 more abortions), Illinois (6,840 more abortions), North Carolina (4,730 more abortions), Colorado (2,580 more abortions), Michigan (2,490 more abortions).

States with the largest declines in the number of abortions during the six-month period after the Dobbs decision compared to baseline include Texas (15,540 fewer abortions), Georgia (10,930 fewer abortions), Tennessee (6,560 fewer abortions), Ohio (4,920 fewer abortions), Arizona (4,650 fewer abortions), and Louisiana (4,250 fewer abortions). However, not all of these states had abortion bans. For example, Georgia, Ohio, and Arizona, which had severe restrictions in place during at least some of the six months and did not have total abortion bans, saw major declines in the number of abortions provided. In other words, states that lack bans but that do impose a variety of restrictions on abortions witnessed far fewer abortions in the months after the Dobbs decision compared to prior months.

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