Latest round of estimates from Monthly Abortion Provision Study also indicates a 7% national increase in the number of abortions provided in the formal health care system between July and August 2023.
The Guttmacher Institute today released the latest round of data from its Monthly Abortion Provision Study, covering the period from January through August 2023. The latest estimates include initial insights into the effects of a total abortion ban in Indiana, where abortions dropped to essentially zero, as well as the continued impact of severe restrictions recently implemented in North Carolina.
The new data also show a 7% national increase in the number of abortions provided in the formal health care system between July and August 2023, following a 7% decrease from June to July 2023. Most states without abortion bans saw small increases that could be due to several factors, including seasonal fluctuations in pregnancies. Data by state are available on the Monthly Abortion Provision Study resource page.
The Monthly Abortion Provision Study is a new research initiative by the Guttmacher Institute to provide monthly data on procedural and medication abortions provided within the formal US health care system. The findings include abortions obtained at brick-and-mortar health facilities, as well as medication abortions provided via telehealth and virtual providers.
“The Monthly Abortion Provision Study continues to do what it is designed to do—giving us near-real time insights into how the rapidly shifting state policy landscape is impacting abortion access,” says Isaac Maddow-Zimet, data scientist at Guttmacher and project lead for this research effort. “Among other findings, this month’s data show the initial impact of the total ban in Indiana, and in future months we hope to better understand its ripple effects in neighboring states. And our research is documenting the ongoing harm caused by restrictive policies in North Carolina, where the number of abortions is still far below the level we tracked before new restrictions took effect.”
Sustained Decline in North Carolina
Last month, Guttmacher reported that abortions in North Carolina had declined by 31% from June to July 2023 following the implementation of new abortion restrictions, including a 12-week ban and a medically unnecessary requirement that forces patients make two separate trips to the clinic at least 72 hours apart. The latest estimates show the sustained impact on abortion provision following these new restrictions: The number of abortions in North Carolina increased only slightly in August from July, and the total was still down by 28% compared with June 2023, before the restrictions went into effect.
Abortions Drop 100% in Indiana
On August 21, Indiana’s total abortion ban formally went into effect; however, due to legal uncertainty, Indiana providers had stopped providing abortions on August 1. Guttmacher’s latest data show that this total ban resulted in an estimated zero abortions provided within the formal health care system in Indiana for the month of August, compared with almost 700 abortions in July. Under this total ban, Indiana residents in need of abortion care are now forced to travel out of state, self-manage their abortion or remain pregnant.
The three states bordering Indiana where abortion remains legal (Illinois, Michigan and Ohio) all had increases in the number of abortions in August compared with July, but it is unclear to what extent these increases reflect seasonal fluctuations in pregnancies, more abortions obtained by residents of those states, or increased travel from Indiana or other states with an abortion ban. Future releases of the Monthly Abortion Provision Study will offer insight into where Hoosiers may be traveling to access care denied to them in their home state.
In early December, Guttmacher will be releasing new data on the share of abortion patients in each state and nationally who traveled from another state to obtain care. Additionally, the December release will capture the impact of South Carolina’s six-week abortion ban, which went into effect on August 23, as well as updated abortion totals for all states from January through September 2023.
About the Study
The Monthly Abortion Provision Study produces monthly estimates of the number of abortions provided within the formal health care system in the United States. These include abortions provided at brick-and-mortar health care facilities (such as clinics or doctor’s offices) as well as medication abortions provided via telehealth and virtual providers located in the United States. This study does not collect data on self-managed abortions, which we define as abortions occurring without in-person or virtual contact with the formal health care system.
The study’s estimates are generated by a statistical model that combines data from samples of providers with historical data on the caseload of every US provider. As more data are collected each month, estimates for past months become more precise. Each estimate is expressed as an uncertainty interval, which quantifies our confidence that the true value falls within a particular range.
The Monthly Abortion Provision Study interactive resource currently shows monthly data for January–August 2023 and is designed to help measure the impacts of abortion policies on state-level abortion incidence and trends. The interactive graphics also show the change in number of abortions provided between 2020 (six-month period) and January–June 2023.
About the Guttmacher Institute
The Guttmacher Institute is a leading research and policy organization committed to advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights worldwide. The Institute has a long history of tracking abortion incidence in the United States and globally. Every three years since 1974, the Guttmacher Institute has conducted the Abortion Provider Census of all known facilities providing abortion in the United States to collect information about service provision, including total number of abortions.
The Monthly Abortion Provision Study is supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development, the Office of Research on Women’s Health, and the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research of the National Institutes of Health, under award number R61HD112921. The content is the sole responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
Source : Guttmacher