Last year, after the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned the Court’s 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade, numerous states raced to enact abortion bans.
Now, 25 million women of childbearing age live in states where abortions are more difficult to get than before the ruling.
Yet, despite the 14 states that banned all abortions and seven that passed new restrictions, the number of abortions performed during the year after Dobbs increased.
In the year since the Dobbs decision, there were 2,200 cumulative more abortions than during the 12-month period prior to the ruling, according to the Society of Family Planning’s #WeCount report, which was released Oct. 24.
The impact of Dobbs varies on a state-by-state basis. Increases in abortions in many states mask drastic declines in abortions seen in other states, according to the report. States that experienced declines in the number of abortions performed post-Dobbs were the states with the most restrictions pre-Dobbs.
States that saw the largest increases in the total number of abortions provided during the 12-month period after Dobbs include Illinois (21,500), Florida (20,460), North Carolina (11,830), California (8,810), and New Mexico (8,640).
States with the largest declines in the number of abortions provided during the 12-month period after Dobbs include Texas (36,970), Georgia (19,660), Tennessee (13,930), Louisiana (9,110), Alabama (7,620), Wisconsin (7,260).
There were 14 states that saw a 100 percent decrease in abortions during this period.
“The Dobbs decision turned abortion access in this country upside down,” Alison Norris, MD, PhD, #WeCount Co-Chair and professor at The Ohio State University’s College of Public Health, said in a joint statement about the report.
“The fact that abortions increased overall in the past year shows what happens when abortion access is improved, and some previously unmet need for abortion is met,” she added. “At the same time, this increase in abortion access can’t mask the tremendous hardships that people are overcoming to obtain basic healthcare services. And for people who can’t travel, we know that being denied abortion care can have devastating mental, emotional, and economic impacts.”