Tens of thousands of babies were born in states that imposed abortion restrictions following the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturn of the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling last year, according to the results of a study.
In June 2022, the highest court in the United States voted 6-3 to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision that made abortion a federal right, ending five decades of legal protections for women seeking the procedure. The court’s ruling launched a process for individual states to restrict or impose outright bans on termination of pregnancy.
Now, nearly 17 months later, a study by the Institute of Labor Economics published this month found that about 32,000 babies were born who could have been aborted in states that imposed the ban.
“Our preliminary analysis indicates that in the first six months of 2023, births rose by 2.3% in states with total abortion bans compared to a control group of states where abortion rights remained protected, which amounts to about 32,000 additional annual births resulting from Abortion. the ban” The study’s authors wrote.
The study added that birth data, which was based on information obtained by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), shows “The most profound transformation in the landscape of abortion access in the United States in 50 years.” It also found that 23% of American women of reproductive age saw an increase in the distance required to travel for an abortion, from an average of 43 miles to 330 miles.
Since the overturn of Roe v. Wade, 21 states have banned abortions or restricted access to the procedure, comparable to the standard set by the Supreme Court’s initial ruling in January 1973.
The data provided by the study, according to Christian Hawkins, president of the pro-life advocacy group Students for Life of America, is proof of that. “Pro-life policies save lives.” she told the New York Times this week.
However, critics of abortion rights repeal contend that the research reflects an increasing burden on low-income women. Allison Gemmell, of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, told CNN the data shows a record high “Assault on reproductive autonomy.”
She pointed to data showing that 75% of abortions in the United States in 2020 included women with limited income, while 55% had recently been exposed to devastating events such as losing a home or job. The study’s authors seem to agree with this analysis, writing in the report that: “Diminished access to abortion poses a risk to the health and financial stability of this vulnerable population.”
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