Ending Roe might not have as much of an impact as we think

Many GOP states have increased abortion regulation in recent years, including parental consent and notification requirements for minors and mandated waiting periods. Yet abortions increased 8% nationwide between 2017 and 2020, according to Guttmacher’s abortion provider survey.

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More abortions aren’t something to celebrate, especially as births simultaneously declined 6% in the same period. But Guttmacher claims it may be a positive development “if it means people are getting the health care they want and need.” This is a tacit admission that stricter laws in GOP states haven’t stopped women from obtaining abortions.

One reason is that left-leaning states have expanded access to abortion. Abortions increased by 25% between 2017 and 2020 in Illinois as more pregnant women came from surrounding states with more restrictive laws. Illinois in 2018 also began covering abortions with state Medicaid funds. Abortion providers responded to increasing demand by opening more clinics.

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