New report finds 25,000 fewer U.S. abortions after Dobbs

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Pro-life demonstrators in Washington celebrate outside the Supreme Court June 24, 2022, as the court overruled the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion decision in its ruling in the Dobbs case on a Mississippi law banning most abortions after 15 weeks. (CNS photo/Evelyn Hockstein, Reuters)

Tens of thousands of babies are alive today because of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, according to a report by an abortion-tracking initiative.

The report, released by #WeCount on June 15, found that there were 25,640 cumulative fewer abortions in the nine months after the Dobbs decision, which allowed states to decide abortion policy nearly a year ago, than in the months before it.

#WeCount, a national abortion reporting effort by the Society of Family Planning, which supports abortion, compared the average monthly number of abortions before Dobbs, in April and May 2022, to the number of abortions after Dobbs, from July 2022 to March 2023.

The new number represents a dent in U.S. abortions. According to the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive research organization once associated with Planned Parenthood, nearly 1 million abortions are performed each year. For 2020, the most recent year with data publicly available, it counted 930,160 abortions.

The report by #WeCount found that, following the Dobbs decision on June 24, 2022, the increase in abortion in states where abortion was allowed did not make up for the decrease in states where abortion was banned.

“State pro-life laws are having a real impact,” Chuck Donovan, the president of Charlotte Lozier Institute, the research arm of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, which tracks pro-life laws, told Our Sunday Visitor.

“We are encouraged to see abortions in states with pro-life protections decrease post Dobbs,” he said. “It’s a vital reminder that the work of pro-life Americans matters and touches on real lives.”

The pro-life movement, he said, should respond by taking action.

“As we look forward to the next year, these numbers also galvanize us to ensure that all lives are protected, no matter which state they may be in,” he said. “They also underscore the need to support all these new moms, fathers, and babies and walk alongside them in the years to come — with the help of nearly 3,000 pregnancy centers nationwide and dozens of new policy initiatives.”

State findings

Donovan’s comments came after the report counted 65,920 fewer clinician-provided abortions in the months after Dobbs compared to April 2022, when looking at states with total abortion bans. States that protect the unborn from abortion after six weeks also witnessed a cumulative total of 15,720 fewer clinician-provided abortions.

At the same time, the report noted, states where abortion stayed legal saw a cumulative total of 56,000 more women who had abortions.

In all, the report found that, in the months after Dobbs, an average of 2,849 fewer abortions were performed each month compared to April 2022. This is an underestimated figure, the report clarified, because Texas had a six-week ban in place before Dobbs.

An increase in medical abortions

The report highlighted that abortions by virtual clinic telehealth providers increased from an average of 4,025 abortions per month in the two months before Dobbs to an average of 7,461 abortions per month in the nine months after Dobbs.

This change — from making up 5% of all abortions to 9% of all abortions — is an increase of 85% in the number of abortions provided virtually, the report said.


The data in the report includes abortions provided by clinics, private medical offices, hospitals and virtual-only clinics, or clinics that only provide telehealth abortions, in the United States.

#WeCount noted several limitations, including the inability to estimate the number of abortions that might have happened outside the formal health care system.

The group used a mixture of reported data from abortion providers and imputations to make up for missing data.

It largely drew from a database it developed of all clinics, private medical offices, hospitals and virtual clinic providers known to perform or prescribe abortions in the U.S. The group then contacted all of the identified abortion providers in the spring of 2022 and asked them to report their monthly number of abortions.

The group said that 82% of the abortion providers agreed to participate.

The group created state-level imputations to make up for clinics that did not participate and, for 16 states and Washington, D.C., it calculated the number of missing abortions with sources including state health departments, news articles and relevant contacts. The Guttmacher Institute also shared information with them.

The group also relied on clinic-level imputations for abortion clinics that did not submit data for all of the months. In total, the group said, it received reports of 83% of all clinician-provided abortions. The rest was imputed.

Katie Yoder

Katie Yoder is a contributing editor for Our Sunday Visitor.