The Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade resulted in 3,000 per month drop in abortions, new data suggests

The US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24, 2022

(HealthcareBrew – Shannon Young) — The number of abortions performed in the US fell by almost 26,000 in the nine months after the Supreme Court overturned its landmark Roe v. Wade decision, according to a report released June 15, 2023.

The Society of Family Planning’s latest #WeCount analysis estimated that 25,640 fewer abortions took place between July 2022 and March 2023 (an average of about 2,849 fewer abortions each month), compared to the average monthly numbers observed prior to the court’s June 2022 Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling, which ended national abortion protections.

Those numbers are down from data #WeCount released in April, which estimated that abortions had dropped by an average of about 5,377 per month between July and December 2022—or 32,260 fewer cumulatively. (Though, the report noted, the pre-Dobbs numbers are likely an underestimate, since Texas’s six-week abortion ban was already in place then.)

Still, the new data underscores “the ways the Dobbs decision continues to devastate abortion access across the country, especially in states where abortion has been heavily restricted or banned,” Ushma Upadhyay, #WeCount cochair and professor at the University of California, San Francisco’s Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health program, said in a statement.

The findings:

  • Fewer abortions occurred in seven of the nine months following Dobbs, compared to April 2022. November 2022 saw the largest decline, with 11,480 fewer abortions. Meanwhile, March 2023 saw the largest increase during the post-Dobbs period, with 8,930 more abortions.
  • States with abortion bans saw the largest decrease in the procedure, with 65,920 fewer clinician-provided abortions in the months after Dobbs, compared to April 2022.
  • The national abortion rate fell from 13.4 per 1,000 reproductive-age women in April 2022 to 12.6 per 1,000 in the nine months following Dobbs.
  • Despite the decrease in the overall number of abortions, abortions provided via telehealth grew from an average of 4,025 per month (or 5% of all abortions) immediately before Dobbs to an average of 7,461 per month (or 9% of all abortions) in the nine months after the court decision.
  • Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, Colorado, and California saw the largest increases in the total number of clinician-provided abortions during the nine-month post-Dobbs period.

Methodology: The report’s findings are based on state-level monthly volume data reported by US abortion providers, as well as estimates of missing abortions by state using various information sources. It does not include the number of abortions that occurred outside the formal healthcare system.