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(LifeSiteNews) — Abortion pills are now responsible for 63 percent of all abortions in the United States, according to a new report whose findings shed light on the abortion lobby’s efforts to circumvent state laws protecting preborn life.

On Tuesday, the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute published new research finding that 63 percent of abortions in 2023 were conducted via pills, continuing a steady rise from zero percent since 2000, when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first approved mifepristone for abortion. The share was 53 percent in 2020 and 39 percent in 2017.

“Increased access to and use of medication abortion is likely one reason why the overall number of abortions in the formal health care system increased 10% nationally between 2020 and 2023,” the report says. “The number of US providers offering a telemedicine consultation – by video, phone call, text or online platform – and mailing abortion pills increased from 7% of all providers known to offer medication abortion in 2020 to 31% in 2022. Online-only clinics, after first appearing as a new type of abortion provider in 2021, accounted for 8% of all abortions provided within the formal health care system in the first six months of 2023.”

Guttmacher’s data also indicated that 1,026,690 overall abortions were committed last year, up 10 percent since 2020. If true, that would represent a substantial setback for the pro-life cause, given that between those two dates the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, allowing abortion to be directly banned for the first time in half a century.

However, Catholic University of America and Charlotte Lozier Institute scholar Professor Michael New urges pro-lifers to take that finding “with some degree of skepticism,” as it came from Guttmacher’s Monthly Abortion Provision Survey rather than its three-year Abortion Provider Census: “By Guttmacher’s own admission, the calculations for the Monthly Abortion Provision Survey come from ‘a slimmer portfolio of data’ and are designed to produce faster calculations on the incidence of abortion. Given that, the 2023 abortion estimates may not be as reliable as Guttmacher’s previous annual abortion estimates.”

But while newly-enforceable state pro-life laws are indeed having a positive impact on abortions, the fact remains that easy access to and interstate distribution of abortion pills is one of the abortion lobby’s most potent tools for perpetuating abortion-on-demand post-Roe, which they are aggressively pursuing regardless of the risks to the women they are supposedly serving.

A 2020 open letter from a coalition of pro-life groups to then-FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn noted that the FDA’s own adverse reporting system says the “abortion pill has resulted in over 4,000 reported adverse events since 2000, including 24 maternal deaths. Adverse events are notoriously underreported to the FDA, and as of 2016, the FDA only requires abortion pill manufacturers to report maternal deaths.”

Pro-lifers warn that with the Biden administration completely eliminating requirements that abortion pills be taken in the presence of a medical professional, meaning without any medical supervision or medical support close by, those events are certain to increase. 

“A November 2021 study by Charlotte Lozier Institute scholars appeared in the peer-reviewed journal Health Services Research and Managerial Epidemiology,” wrote New. “They analyzed state Medicaid data of over 400,000 abortions from 17 states that fund elective abortions through their Medicaid programs. They found that the rate of abortion-pill-related emergency-room visits increased over 500 percent from 2002 through 2015. The rate of emergency-room visits for surgical abortions also increased during the same time period, but by a much smaller margin.’”

In November 2022, Operation Rescue reported that a net decrease of 36 abortion facilities in 2022 led to the lowest number in almost 50 years, yet the chemical abortion business “surged” with 64 percent of new facilities built last year specializing in dispensing mifepristone and misoprostol. Citing data from the Guttmacher Institute, STAT says mifepristone “accounts for roughly half of all abortions in the U.S.” 

Next week, the Supreme Court is slated to begin hearing oral arguments over the Biden administration’s abortion pill rules, which pro-lifers hope could also lead to reconsideration of the FDA’s original approval of mifepristone in 2000.