Abortions Hit Highest Level In Decade Due To Growing Access To Pill

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Kate Anderson Contributor
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Abortions in the U.S. peaked at over 1 million in 2023, marking the highest levels seen in a decade as activists have pushed to make accessing the abortion pill easier, according to a Tuesday report by the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute.

The number of abortions has increased by 10% since 2020, or “15.7 abortions per 1,000 women of reproductive age,” according to the report. The U.S. saw a staggering 1,026,690 abortions in the first full calendar year since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022, with a significant portion of the numbers due to increased access to the chemical abortion pill. (RELATED: ‘Craven Political Ploy’: Biden’s Attempt To Appear Moderate On Abortion Is Not Sitting Well With Dems)

Abortions hit their highest levels in 1990 at 1.6 million and then steadily declined for the next several decades, reaching only 885,000 in 2017, according to the report. In 2019, the numbers began to increase again to 930,160 by 2020.


A pro-abortion activist displays abortion pills as she counter-protests during an anti-abortion demonstration on March 25, 2023, in New York City. (Photo by KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images)

The researchers attributed much of the increase to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) decision in 2021 to lift the in-person requirement to obtain chemical abortion pills. Pro-life advocates and medical professionals, however, sued the FDA in 2022, arguing that the agency cut corners to approve the release of mifepristone, the abortion pill, despite concerns about dangerous side effects for the child and the mother.

“This decision not only harms women and girls who voluntarily undergo chemical abortions, but it also further helps sex traffickers and sexual abusers to force their victims into getting abortions while preventing the authorities from identifying these victims,” the lawsuit reads. “In fact, the State of Texas has recognized that ‘[d]ue to the potentially high number of trafficking victims who undergo abortion procedures, abortion facility employees are uniquely situated to identify and assist victims of sex trafficking.'”

The case is awaiting a decision at the Supreme Court.

Over a dozen states have enacted some form of abortion ban, and as a result, states without strict abortion restrictions have experienced an average of a 25% increase in the number of abortions since 2020, according to the report. Certain states that directly bordered states with stricter abortion laws saw an even larger increase, such as “Illinois (38,010 more abortions than in 2020, or an increase of 72%), New Mexico (15,090 more abortions, an increase of 257%), Virginia (14,190, an increase of 76%) and North Carolina (12,970, or 41%).”

Republican Attorneys General in 20 states wrote a joint letter to Walgreens and CVS Pharmacy warning them against dispensing abortion pills through the mail or risk facing litigation, according to CNN. The pharmacies announced in March that they were going to begin selling abortion pills at select stores where it is legal but would not allow them to be mailed out.

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