Communications Department


Jan 21, 2021 | 2021 Press Releases, Press Releases, Press Room

WASHINGTON – On the heels of the inauguration of pro-abortion President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. and Vice President Kamala Harris, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) today released The State of Abortion in the United States, 2021. In this eighth annual edition of this report, the nation’s oldest and largest pro-life organization summarizes key legislative developments on the state and federal level, and analyzes the data on the annual number of abortions in the United States.

This year’s report also takes a detailed look at the history of the Hyde Amendment, which has prevented federal funding of elective abortion in Medicaid since 1976. In addition, it contains an in-depth look at accelerating efforts – the executive, legislative, and judicial realms – to resurrect by unconstitutional means the long-expired Equal Rights Amendment, and explains the sweeping impact that the ERA could have on abortion law (an impact once denied but now proclaimed by prominent pro-abortion advocates). Additionally, the report examines the abortion-promoting activities of Planned Parenthood during the COVID-19 pandemic, charging that for the nation’s largest provider and promoter of abortion, it was business as usual during the national health emergency.

“Tomorrow we commemorate the deaths of the more than 62 million unborn children that resulted from the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “However, as this year’s State of Abortion report shows, the right-to-life movement has remained undeterred and continues to make advances. Through our determination to protect mothers and their children, we continue to see evidence that our efforts to educate our nation about the unborn child’s humanity, and our efforts to enact protective pro-life legislation, are having a tremendous impact in moving our nation away from Roe and Doe’s deadly legacy.”

Key highlights from the report include:

*Abortion data released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at the end of last year show that abortions experienced a small uptick in 2018, but the annual number of abortions remain far from their historic peak of 1.6 million. Based on data from the CDC and the Guttmacher Institute, National Right to Life now estimates that 62,504,904 abortions have been performed in the United States since 1973. 

*The CDC now says that chemical abortions (or as it puts them, “medical” abortions) running up through nine weeks and 6 days account for 38.6% of all abortions where the procedure was identified. Chemical abortions account for 54.9% of abortions performed at six weeks or less.

*State legislatures continue to be successful in enacting pro-life legislation that extends protections to unborn children and helps their mothers. These laws include protections for pain-capable unborn children, laws banning dismemberment abortions, and efforts to steer state funding away from organizations that perform abortions, such as Planned Parenthood.

*Anticipating an assault on the Hyde Amendment by the Biden-Harris Administration and pro-abortion Democrats in Congress, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), this year’s report provides a detailed history of the Hyde Amendment and how it has worked to save more than 2 million lives since the late Rep. Henry J. Hyde (R-Ill.) first introduced it in 1976.

The report is available from the National Right to Life Communications Department here:

National Right to Life experts, including President Carol Tobias; Director of Education and Research Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D.; Legislative Director Jennifer Popik, J.D.; and (on the Equal Rights Amendment) Senior Policy Advisor Douglas D. Johnson, are available to provide further information about the report and its insights. To arrange an interview, call the NRLC Communications Department at (202) 626-8825 or email

Founded in 1968, National Right to Life, the federation of 50 state right-to-life affiliates and more than 3,000 local chapters, is the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots pro-life organization. Recognized as the flagship of the pro-life movement, NRLC works through legislation and education to protect innocent human life from abortion, infanticide, assisted suicide and euthanasia.