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(LifeSiteNews) – Hundreds of thousands of abortions have been prevented since the U.S. Supreme Court allowed state pro-life laws to take effect across the country last year, but the mainstream media is attempting to downplay that progress with a new study claiming the abortion industry has offset it through renewed emphasis on remotely distributing abortion pills.

Fourteen states currently ban all or most abortions, thanks to the Court’s June 2022 Dobbs ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade, allowing states to directly ban abortion for the first time in half a century. These direct bans and other pro-life laws have been estimated to prevent 200,000 abortions per year, LifeSite has previously reported.

However, OSV News reports that the pro-abortion Society of Family Planning’s #WeCount research project has released the “first full-year census of U.S. abortion providers” since Dobbs, spanning April 2022 to June 2023, which found a 72% rise in chemical abortions provided through virtual visits, which supposedly canceled out the reduction in surgical abortions.

#WeCount co-chair Dr. Alison Norris of Ohio State University claimed the findings demonstrate the futility of interfering with abortion “access” because women seeking abortions will undergo “tremendous hardships” to spare themselves the “mental, emotional and economic impacts” of unwanted pregnancy.

However, Catholic University of America research associate and prominent pro-life data expert Dr. Michael New writes in National Review that “there is less here than meets the eye” to #WeCount’s data, due to a number of factors, the first being that it “compares a year of post-Dobbs abortion data to only two months of pre-Dobbs abortion data,” which fails to capture the full picture of the previous year and ignores that Texas and Oklahoma were already enforcing strong laws prior to Dobbs; the Supreme Court’s prior decision to allow the Texas Heartbeat Act to take effect, for instance, prompted major Texas abortion chains to halt abortions.

READ: Abortions in Indiana decreased 24% even before near-total ban took effect

Next, New notes that “data from the [U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention] and Guttmacher [Institute, former research arm of Planned Parenthood] both indicate that abortion rates started to increase in 2017,” thanks in part to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration relaxing regulations on distribution of abortion pills, including eliminating the requirement for an in-person medical examination. 

“Additionally, a number of states have made their abortion policies more permissive,” he says, including subsidizing abortions through Medicaid and weakening parental notification and consent requirements.

“Downplaying the impact of pro-life laws has always been a long-term strategy of supporters of legal abortion and their allies in the mainstream media,” New concludes, while reiterating birth data affirming that Texas’s abortion ban has significantly reduced abortions. “As always, pro-lifers would do well to stay the course.”

READ: The post-Roe baby boom in Texas proves that pro-life laws save lives

Evidence shows that abortion pills carry specific risks for the mothers who take them (on top of being lethal to their preborn children), especially when the standards for taking them continue to be relaxed.

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 under any medical supervision or with 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,” New writes. “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.’”

READ: Abortions at South Carolina Planned Parenthood plummet 70% after heartbeat law takes effect

While abortion pills are far from rendering pro-life laws irrelevant, they are still vital to the abortion industry’s survival. 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.


Abortions in North Carolina decrease by 31% after 12-week ban takes effect

Pro-lifers have a lot to celebrate one year after the reversal of Roe v. Wade