Nearly as many abortions happening in US every month as before Roe v. Wade was overturned: Report

The number of monthly abortions in the U.S. has been about the same ever since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and the federally protected right to abortion more than a year and a half ago, a new report finds.

According to the latest edition of the #WeCount report conducted by the Society of Family Planning, a nonprofit organization that promotes abortion and other healthcare education, between 81,150 and 88,620 abortions took place each month between July and September last year. 

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The agency says these numbers are slightly lower than the monthly average of about 86,800 from April through June 2022, before Roe and just after it was overturned.

The agency also says abortion data is seasonal. Their report found that more abortions happened across the U.S. in the spring months of 2023 than it did in the same period last year leading up to the Supreme Court’s decision.

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"Even when a state bans abortion, people continue to need and seek abortion care," Alison Norris, a professor at Ohio State University's College of Public Health and one of the co-chairs of the study, said in a statement. "We can’t let the overall consistent number of abortions nationally obscure the incredible unmet need and disastrous impact of abortion bans on people who already have the least access."

The impact of the Supreme Court’s decision

Had Roe v. Wade not been overturned, the agency estimates that a total of 120,000 more abortions would have taken place during the period the report was taken in the 14 states that did ban the practice. 

While the number of monthly abortions has dropped to nearly zero in states that enacted bans, they have actually risen in states that still allow abortion.

The Society of Family Planning collects its data from healthcare providers across the country to create a snapshot of abortion trends following the Supreme Court’s decision. 

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In some states, a portion of the data is estimated. The effort makes data public with less than a six-month lag, giving a picture of trends far faster than annual reports from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where the most recent report covers abortion in 2021.

It’s important to note that the report does not cover self-managed abortions obtained outside the formal health care system – such as if someone gets abortion pills from a friend without a prescription. 

The Associated Press contributed to this story. It was reported from Los Angeles.