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New law in North Carolina leads to sharp drop in the number of abortions

by | Nov 13, 2023

By Dave Andrusko

Good news out of North Carolina, proving yet again that elections do matter: when pro-lifers advance in numbers, the incidence of abortion goes down.

Rachel Crumpler, reporting on Friday, wrote

The number of abortions provided in North Carolina has dropped significantly after the implementation of increased restrictions in the state on July 1, according to data estimates from a national organization that tracks trends in reproductive health.

During the first month operating under North Carolina’s new law that limits most abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy and requires two in-person appointments for anyone seeking an abortion, the Guttmacher Institute reported that medication and procedural [surgical] abortions provided in the state in July dropped by 31 percent from the previous month. A new round of data released this week demonstrates how the state’s restrictions hinder access to abortion care. 

While the Guttmacher Institute found that the number of abortions provided in August increased slightly from July, the total was still down 28 percent from June, before the restrictions took effect.

The more than 4,200 abortions documented in June dropped by roughly 1,200 in August. Crumpler interviewed data scientist Isaac Maddow-Zimet, who leads Guttmacher’s Monthly Abortion Provision Study project.

“Unfortunately, what we see in August is really not much of a recovery,” Maddow-Zimet said. “That suggests to us that this ban and the addition of the in-person counseling requirement is too much of an obstacle for many folks in North Carolina and those traveling to North Carolina to be able to overcome to receive care.” 

Effect on nearby states? “Maddow-Zimet said Guttmacher data showed no increases in abortions provided in nearby states like Virginia, the District of Columbia or Maryland that would offset the decline in North Carolina.”

“Unfortunately, what we see in August is really not much of a recovery,” Maddow-Zimet said. “That suggests to us that this ban and the addition of the in-person counseling requirement is too much of an obstacle for many folks in North Carolina and those traveling to North Carolina to be able to overcome to receive care.” 

The gestational limit alone—from 20 weeks down to 12 weeks—“does not account for the significant monthly volume declines in July and August of 1,300 and 1,200 fewer abortions than before the law took effect,” Rivera reported.

There was also the impact of requiring women to receive in-person counseling “at least 72 hours before an abortion — something that could previously occur by telephone — is making it harder for people to access the procedure,” according to North Carolina Health News.

Categories: State Legislation