Following the overturning of Roe v. Wade in June 2022, a study reports that approximately 32,000 babies have been born who would otherwise have been aborted. This estimate, covered by The New York Times, is based on birth statistics from the first half of 2023, comparing states before and after the Supreme Court’s decision.
Despite the abortion bans in certain states, the study notes that many women are still undergoing abortions. They either travel to states where it remains legal or procure abortion pills online. The exact number of women who opted against abortion due to these bans remains unknown.
The research, conducted by the Institute of Labor Economics, indicates that in states enforcing total abortion bans, births increased by an average of 2.3% in the first six months of 2023. This increase translates to about 32,000 additional annual births as a result of the bans.
Fox News Digital highlights the study’s characterization of this shift as the most significant change in U.S. abortion access in half a century. The study points out the increased difficulty for many women in accessing abortion facilities, with the average driving distance to the nearest facility rising significantly post-Dobbs decision.
Alison Gemmill from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health expressed concern to CNN about the implications of these findings for “reproductive harmony.” She emphasized that the population-level signals indicate significant changes in reproductive behaviors and choices.
The researchers also discussed the potential health and financial risks posed by diminished abortion access, especially to low-income women. They noted that a significant proportion of those seeking abortions in 2020 were already in financially precarious situations, highlighting the broader societal impacts of the change in abortion laws.