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Clockwise from right: Lationna Halbert holds her son, Kingsley, who was born after Mississippi's trigger ban took effect and she was denied an abortion; A pro-life activist holds a sign outside of the U.S. Supreme Court Building on June 21, 2022 in Washington, DC.; New Orleans only abortion clinic, Women's Health Care Center, shuttered on this day after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade; Pro-lifers celebrate the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court Getty Images, Shutterstock

(LifeSiteNews) — Across 2,000 miles, from the Texas border to West Virginia, abortion is effectively abolished in America.

A block of 10 states that includes most of the South, along with a handful of other states, like the Dakotas and Idaho, have banned abortion at all stages of pregnancy with limited exceptions.

These 14 states accounted for around 110,000 abortions before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade one year ago in the historic Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case. But since Dobbs, their abortion numbers have dropped to around zero — somewhere below 10 per month, according to recent estimates. Abortion facilities in their borders have shut down by the dozens, and the few that remain have stopped abortions.

Birth data already indicates that the laws are saving lives, including in Texas, where births spiked 4.7 percent last year, and a growing number of reports show that women are choosing life in states with bans, often assisted by pro-life pregnancy centers.

Other states may soon start enforcing strong pro-life laws, with near-total abortion bans being litigated in Arizona, Indiana, Utah, and Wyoming, where more than 23,000 abortions occurred in 2019.

Another five states accounting for nearly 140,000 abortions have at least passed heartbeat laws, which prohibit abortion at around six weeks and have been shown to reduce abortions by more than 60%. Georgia’s heartbeat law has stopped about 2,100 monthly abortions since taking effect last year.

Dobbs has also allowed an avalanche of other previously blocked pro-life protections to come into effect, like parental consent measures, dismemberment abortion bans, fetal burial laws, and protections for babies with Down syndrome.

State laws could ultimately wipe out a staggering 200,000 abortions or more every year.

State laws could ultimately wipe out a staggering 200,000 abortions or more every year.

Around 25 million women of reproductive age — two in five nationally — now live in states with bans throughout pregnancy or at six weeks, and abortion will likely be out of reach for many them. While abortion is expected to remain legal in Democrat-controlled states for the foreseeable future, women in states with strict pro-life laws typically live hundreds of miles further from the nearest abortion facility then they did before Dobbs, and traveling out of state can cost thousands of dollars.

And even where abortion is protected, pro-lifers have are having shocking success with local efforts, including pregnancy centers and sidewalk counseling, which have saved millions of babies.

Pro-lifers have faced some setbacks, like disastrous ballot measures in Michigan and Kansas. But one year after Dobbs, there’s a lot to be excited about.

Abortion centers collapsing around the country: ‘God does hear our prayers!’

The reversal of Roe v. Wade has had a swift and devastating impact on the abortion industry across much of America, leaving nearly one-third of the country with no abortion facilities.

The reversal of Roe v. Wade has had a swift and devastating impact on the abortion industry across much of America, leaving nearly one-third of the country with no abortion facilities.

Within two weeks of the Dobbs decision, at least 49 abortion centers stopped committing abortions or closed entirely as pro-life laws took effect in several states.

By October, that number rose to 66, with 26 facilities shutting down for good, including 11 in Texas alone, according to a report by the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute.  

The following month, Operation Rescue counted 88 facilities that either halted abortions or permanently closed, resulting in the lowest number of abortion centers in the U.S. since the 1970s. 

Due to the newly enforceable bans, 14 states were “abortion-free” last year for the first time in decades, Operation Rescue noted.

“2022 is the first year to record states with no active abortion facility, thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization,” the pro-life group celebrated. “It is expected that this trend will continue into 2023 and beyond as more state legislatures take up pro-life legislation to ban or strictly limit abortions.”

A 2022 study by researchers with the University of California San Francisco predicts that up to 202 abortion facilities — 26 percent of the national total — could ultimately close after the overturn of Roe v. Wade. 

READ: Pro-life leaders warn radical Ohio abortion amendment ‘even more dangerous’ than previously feared

Planned Parenthood’s Houston center/Wikimedia Commons

The abortion centers that have shut down or otherwise stopped killing the unborn include some of the most ghastly, scandal-plagued facilities in the country.

Among them are Planned Parenthood’s Houston mega-center, formerly the largest abortion mill in North America. The six-story, 78,000-foot facility — strategically placed around black and Hispanic neighborhoods — committed thousands of abortions each year and altered procedures to harvest “intact fetal cadavers,” as the Center for Medical Progress revealed in 2015. Planned Parenthood’s website now says that the center “is unable to provide abortion services at this time.”

The Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, another notorious abortion chain cited for dozens of health violations, like rusted equipment and rat holes, announced days after the Supreme Court reversed Roe that it would close all four of its Texas locations, one of which has since become a pro-life center.

The group also shut down a location in Indiana earlier this month.

READ: Blood ‘pouring’ out of vomiting woman after abortion at infamous Texas facility

In Mississippi, Jackson Women’s Health Organization — the abortion facility at the center of the Dobbs case and the only one in the state — closed its doors last summer. It’s now a luxury furniture store. 

Eight hundred miles away, Wisconsin abortionist Dennis Christensen, who committed as many as 100,000 abortions during the Roe era, closed Milwaukee’s Affiliated Medical Services and put the building up for sale in October.

“This particular abortion center was a victim of the Dobbs v. Jackson case, there is no doubt about it,” Dan Miller, director of Pro-Life Wisconsin, told LifeSiteNews at the time. “Prayer is powerful! God does hear our prayers!”

Miller had led 40 Days for Life prayer campaigns outside the facility for years, saving more than 1,600 babies and depriving the abortion mill of over $1 million prior to Dobbs.

“Dan’s street-level defunding of the abortion industry helped ensure his local abortion business didn’t have the cash reserves to ride out the Dobbs decision in hopes that a future election or court case would legalize abortion once again,” noted 40 Days for Life, an international group that organizes non-stop, 40-day prayer vigils in front of abortion centers.

Jackson Women’s Health Organization before closing (left); The former abortion facility after being converted into a consignment store, Hunt the Shop (right)/YouTube and Facebook screenshots

Other shuttered facilities include Southwestern Women’s Surgery Center, which was Dallas’ largest abortion center. Run by Curtis Wayne Boyd, a late-term abortionist who once admitted, “Am I killing? Yes. I know that,” it shut down in March after five decades. Texas Ambulatory Surgical Center in Houston, where former employees accused Douglas Karpen, nicknamed the “Gosnell of Texas,” of savagely executing born babies, was listed for sale last year as well.

Some abortionists, like Christensen, have opened new facilities in other states that protect abortion, including Illinois and Colorado. Whole Women’s Health and Jackson Women’s Health Organization have relocated to New Mexico. 

But closed abortion centers outnumber new ones by more than 3 to 1, and the nearest facility is typically hundreds of miles away for the millions of women living in abortion-free states. “The average American now lives 275 miles further from an abortion facility than before the [Dobbs] decision,” Bloomberg reported in April.

In deep south states like Mississippi and Louisiana, where all abortion centers have closed, the average distance to a facility that commits abortions before 15 weeks is more than 200 miles, according to the Guttmacher Institute, and similar for Idaho and the Dakotas. In Texas, the distance is over 500 miles, and even longer for late-term abortions.

With the cost of a first-trimester abortion already around $600, additional travel, lodging, child care, and other expenses, along with days of missed work, may make out-of-state abortions inaccessible for many lower-income women, who disproportionately seek abortions. Abortion funds have reported women’s out-of-state expenses regularly topping $2,000.

Tens of thousands of abortions stopped

Indeed, recent data shows that pro-life laws that have take effect since Dobbs have stopped tens of thousands of abortions, and while abortions have surged in some states that haven’t banned them, the national rate has still declined overall.

Recent data shows that pro-life laws that have taken effect since Dobbs have stopped tens of thousands of abortions.

In the 14 states that protect most unborn babies throughout pregnancy, abortions have plummeted to less than 10 each month, according to data from #WeCount, an abortion tracking project of the left-wing Society of Family Planning. 

In October, data collected by #WeCount from abortion centers and hospitals showed that abortions dropped by 10,000 nationwide in the first two months after the reversal of Roe v. Wade.

During that period, abortions fell by around 22,000 in more than two dozen states, primarily ones with bans, but increased by about 12,000 in other states, meaning that most women apparently did not get around pro-life laws by traveling out of state.

A follow-up report by #WeCount in April affirmed those numbers, finding 32,260 fewer abortions in the first six months after the Dobbs ruling — a decrease of 5,377 per month.

Another analysis from the group in June reported that there were nearly 25,000 fewer total abortions between July 2022 and March 2023, allegedly with a slight uptick in abortions in winter and early spring. Abortions will decline further if more states enforce bans.

What’s more, #WeCount likely underestimates the impact of pro-life laws, according to pro-life scholar Dr. Michael New of the Catholic University of America. “First, some states were already enforcing strong pro-life laws prior to the Dobbs decision,” New noted, pointing to heartbeat laws in Texas and Oklahoma. The #WeCount data also fails to account for rising abortions in liberal states in recent years, driven by an uptick in chemical abortions and a wave of pro-abortion policies, New added.

WATCH: Abortion statistics & what they mean for the Culture of Life I Dr. Michael New

Since 2017, Democrat-led states have adopted increasingly radical abortion laws, repealing parental notification and informed consent requirements, approving public funding for elective abortion, requiring insurance companies to cover abortion costs, authorizing non-physicians to commit abortions, and gutting regulations of abortion facilities, as LifeSiteNews has reported. Several of those states, including New York, California, and Oregon, have set aside millions of dollars of additional taxpayer funding to promote abortion in reaction to Dobbs.

Dr. New further noted that #WeCount’s data does not come from government agencies, “and so there are legitimate concerns about the accuracy of this data.” 

Texas births rise due to heartbeat law

But an analysis that New conducted last year of birth data from Texas gives pro-lifers even more reason for excitement.

New’s research, published by the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, found that Texas births rose by over 5,000 between March and July 2022 after the state began enforcing a heartbeat law the previous September — a three-percent spike and a monthly increase of around 1,000 births.

Texas births rose by over 5,000 between March and July 2022 after the state began enforcing a heartbeat law the previous September.

The rising birth numbers can’t be easily explained by other factors, like population growth or illegal immigration, New said. 

The data “shows that nearly 50 percent of the abortion-vulnerable children who were protected by the Texas Heartbeat Act were carried to term likely as a result of the law,” he wrote. “This finding adds to a substantial body of academic and policy research which shows that pro-life laws reduce abortion rates, increase the likelihood that pregnancies are carried to term, and save lives.”

A recent analysis by the Washington Post of provisional data from the CDC came to similarly encouraging conclusions, reporting that Texas births rose by 4.7 percent in 2022 compared to 2021 while the national birth rate remained stagnant at 0.2 percent. 

Texas’ birth data indicates that many women did not resort to “self-managed” or “DIY” abortions, such as with black market abortion pills from foreign distributors or underground networks, which would not be captured in abortion statistics.

Anecdotal evidence also shows that more women are choosing life: In June 2022, the Washington Post published an article highlighting a teenage girl in Texas named Brooke who initially sought an abortion but ended up giving birth to twins after the state’s heartbeat law took effect. The girl, a high school dropout, is now a devoted mother whose boyfriend joined the Air Force and married her after the babies’ birth. 

The New York Times profiled another woman, Tamara Nelson, who had her fourth child last year after being denied an abortion at Southwestern Women’s Surgery Center because of the law.

“I’m so happy he’s here,” she told the Times. 

In Mississippi, Lationna Halbert gave birth to her second son, Kingsley, in January after that state began enforcing a trigger ban and she and her now-fiancé “realized they couldn’t afford an out-of-state abortion,” In These Times reported.

Sidewalk Advocates for Life (SAFL), a group that trains people to reach out to women entering abortion facilities and provide them with “life-affirming resources,” has also reported more openness to life in places where abortion is banned. In October, an SAFL team at Planned Parenthood’s massive Houston center, which still provides abortion referrals, counted 14 women in one day who “confirmed that they were choosing life,” SAFL president Lauren Muzyka told Pregnancy Help News.

She credited Texas’ pro-life laws with making the women more willing to consider abortion alternatives: “It was apparent that when abortion wasn’t readily available, women were more amenable to considering their options.” 

“We had said to the women, ‘Hey, before you cross state lines, before you drive 300 miles, or whatever it might be, to your nearest abortion facility, just give us a try.’”

Millions of babies saved by pro-life pregnancy centers

While Dobbs is a historic, game-changing victory, abortion isn’t abolished nationwide yet, and around 20 Democrat-controlled states have laws or constitutional amendments that explicitly protect abortion.

And the end of Roe doesn’t change the fact that many women will continue to face unplanned pregnancies and seek out abortion.

To those ends, pro-lifers are having major success with local initiatives, like pregnancy centers.

According to a report by the Charlotte Lozier Institute, more than 2,700 pro-life pregnancy help centers (PHCs) have opened across the country since 1969 to provide women with support and resources during difficult pregnancies. 

Run by nearly 70,000 volunteers and staff, including some 10,200 medical professionals, these facilities typically offer free ultrasounds, pregnancy information, prenatal and parental classes, and maternal items, like diapers, baby clothes, strollers, and car seats. Hundreds of pregnancy centers also provide medical care and sexual risk avoidance education, among other things.

Based on a dataset from Care Net, a national network of more than 1,100 PHCs, the Charlotte Lozier Institute estimated that pregnancy centers helped save an astonishing 828,131 babies in the U.S. from 2017 to 2021. 

The Charlotte Lozier Institute estimated that pregnancy centers helped save an astonishing 828,131 babies in the U.S. from 2017 to 2021.

“This figure reflects the tremendous and awe-inspiring collective work of life-affirming pregnancy help centers, both medical and non-medical, to empower women and couples to choose life for their children,” CLI’s analysis said. “More than any other organization, pro-life PHCs are best equipped to support women facing unintended pregnancies in a post-Roe America.”

READ: How pro-lifers are saving more babies from abortion in Florida than ever before

Care Net’s website counts 941,453 “lives saved” from 2008 to 2021, and other organizations attest to similarly remarkable numbers. Focus on the Family’s Option Ultrasound Program, which provides grants to pregnancy centers for ultrasound machines and training, reports nearly 500,000 babies saved since 2004 at centers it has supported.

A 2020 CLI study found that pregnancy centers served almost two million people in 2019, providing $270 million in services, including 1.3 million packs of diapers, 486,000 free ultrasounds, and sexual risk avoidance presentations to 881,000 students.

Brooke, the teenage mother of twins in Texas, and Tamara Nelson both received assistance from pro-life pregnancy centers.

Ultrasounds are a particularly critical tool in helping mothers choose life: Data from Care Net affiliates shows that 75 percent of women considering abortion “made a decision for life for their child” after viewing an ultrasound at a PHC. Brooke chose life after seeing her twins’ heartbeats on an ultrasound screen, according to the Washington Post’s report.

Ultrasounds are a particularly critical tool in helping mothers choose life.

Despite a wave of arson and other attacks in response to the Dobbs decision and threats from Democratic lawmakers and the Biden administration, pregnancy centers are redoubling their efforts to save babies and mothers from abortion.

READ: More than 20 pregnancy centers in the US have faced pro-abortion attacks since leaked Roe opinion

The centers’ work, Care Net said in an August statement, “has not slowed down.” 

“In states where abortion is less accessible post-Roe, our affiliated centers are answering the call for increased support and care for fearful clients who feel limited by their pregnancy options, empowering them with resources and encouragement,” the organization said. Meanwhile, in states that have become “abortion tourism” destinations, pregnancy centers “have continued their vital work with more fervor and urgency than ever” to provide women with ultrasounds and information about pro-life options, the statement added. 

Heartbeat International, a network of more than 3,300 pregnancy centers around the world, said in a recent report that 80 percent of its affiliates saw the same or an increased number of calls or clients after Dobbs.

“Now is the time for us to step up and be ready to help more moms,” Heartbeat International president Jor-El Godsey said in a video after the repeal of Roe. “More and more women are going to need the help that pregnancy help centers and pregnancy help organizations are there to provide.”

Rescuing babies at the brink of death

Pro-lifers are also ramping up prayer campaigns and sidewalk ministry, other grassroots efforts credited with rescuing tens of thousands of babies.

Last fall, 40 Days for Life carried out its largest campaign to date in the aftermath of Dobbs, holding vigils in 622 cities.

“Despite losing some locations for the best reason, abortion facilities closing, we have added new cities and grown even more at the grassroots at a time when abortion is leaving Washington, D.C. and going to where the pro-life movement is the strongest, the local level,” 40 Days for Life president and CEO Shawn Carney told LifeSiteNews.

The organization boasts 23,525 lives saved since 2004, including over 600 during last fall’s campaign, and 139 facilities closed after a 40 Days for Life campaign.

In May, the group celebrated converting its 250th abortion worker, who left a job in Illinois. “She and the 69 babies saved from abortion in the Land of Lincoln during this spring’s 40 Days for Life campaign are living proof that prayer works–even in locations where abortion remains legal (and celebrated) in the post-Roe era,” Carney said.

Sidewalk Advocates for Life is pressing ahead in the Dobbs era as well, with updated strategies to reflect the changing landscape of abortion and help advocates “save as many lives as possible and end abortion in every community.” Many teams in states where abortion is now restricted have continued their outreach, Muzyka has said.

“Everywhere abortion is illegal, our sidewalk advocate teams are saying that women in general are more open to options and resources,” she said in a video earlier this year, noting the importance of connecting abortion-seeking women with pro-life pregnancy centers or mobile units. “If abortion is illegal in your state, we really need to be there to serve these women before they’re tempted to come across state lines.”

SAFL, which founded in 2014, counts more than 20,000 babies saved and thousands of additional “hopeful saves” on its website.

From abortion-free states and rising birth numbers, to dozens of shuttered abortion centers and countless children saved from death, pro-lifers have a lot to celebrate in post-Roe America.


MAP: Most abortions are banned in 14 states, more states to follow

Major abortion clinics are being closed and sold across America after the fall of Roe v. Wade