Study reveals 32,000 additional births in states with abortion bans post-Roe v. Wade reversal

The researchers who carried out the study said the shift represented the "most profound transformation of the landscape of U.S. abortion access in 50 years," based on initial birth data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Study reveals 32,000 additional births in states with abortion bans post-Roe v. Wade reversal
AP Photo/Nathan Howard
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A recent study published by the Institute of Labor Economics reveals that following the Supreme Court's reversal of Roe v. Wade in June 2022, approximately 32,000 babies were born in states that implemented abortion restrictions.

The study examined the outcomes of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision, which delegated abortion legislation to individual states, Fox News reports.

"Our primary analysis indicates that in the first six months of 2023, births rose by an average of 2.3 percent in states enforcing total abortion bans compared to a control group of states where abortion rights remained protected, amounting to approximately 32,000 additional annual births resulting from abortion bans," according to the study.

The researchers who carried out the study said the shift represented the "most profound transformation of the landscape of U.S. abortion access in 50 years," based on initial birth data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

"As of November 1, 2023, 14 states are enforcing bans on abortion in nearly all circumstances, and 23 percent of U.S. women of reproductive age have experienced an increase in driving distance to the nearest abortion facility, from an average of 43 miles one-way before Dobbs to 330 miles at present," the study found.

Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, expressed to the New York Times that the study's findings signify a victory, demonstrating that pro-life policies lead to the saving of lives.

"The insinuation of a lot of coverage of such data points is that it’s a bad thing for there to be more children welcomed in states with better laws than in states that fast-track abortion," she said.

In contrast, Alison Gemmill, an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, told CNN that the recent statistics represent an attack on reproductive autonomy.

"We don’t always detect signals in these population aggregates because there’s a lot of variation when you group everybody together," she said. "The fact that there is a signal at the population level means that something’s really going on. It’s pretty strong evidence," because fertility rates, or the number of births per women of reproductive age, don’t typically change dramatically."

The study's authors contend that indications point to reduced abortion access as a threat to the health and economic security of this at-risk group.

"In 2020, approximately 1 in 5 pregnancies ended in abortion," the study reported. "At the time they seek abortions, 75 percent of patients are low-income, 59 percent have previously given birth, and 55 percent report a recent disruptive life event such as falling behind on the rent or losing a job."

The results offered an analysis of the results stemming from the Supreme Court's significant ruling last year.

The impact on abortion was notably pronounced among Hispanic women and those aged 20 to 24, showing average birth rate increases of 4.7% and 3.3%, respectively. Furthermore, considering the geographic distribution of abortion restrictions that heightened the expense of interstate travel, the figures rose by 4.4% in Mississippi and 5.1% in Texas.

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  • By Ezra Levant

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