Recent analysis shows that in the six months following the Supreme Court ruling to end the federal right to an abortion, the number of legal abortions was 32,000 lower than expected in the United States, CNN reports.
There were around 5,000 fewer abortions a month compared to the months before the ruling, "a drop of about 6 percent," CNN says. Before the ruling, in April and May, there was a monthly average of about 82,000 abortions, per the analysis. After the decision went into effect, from July to December, the number fell to an average of 77,000 monthly. "The total number of abortions fluctuated month-to-month," CNN summarizes, "but was always lower than it was in April."
WeCount collected the data for a research effort sponsored by the Society of Family Planning, an abortion rights nonprofit. Data was collected from abortion providers nationwide, including clinics, hospitals, private offices, and telehealth providers. Over 80 percent of known providers responded to WeCount. Though their report "represents the most complete accounting of legal abortions in America," The New York Times writes, "the researchers acknowledge that missing data from some clinics that have declined to share it may lead to small inaccuracies." The data was incomplete in 23 states.
The decline surpassed what some researchers predicted before Roe v. Wade was overturned. Obstacles created by new restrictions, such as "travel logistics and expenses, long wait times at some clinics and confusion or fear about laws," the Times adds, "seem to have prevented even more women than expected from obtaining legal abortions."
For many seeking an abortion, "the barriers that were in place were not surmountable," said Alison Norris, Ohio State professor of epidemiology and one of the report's authors. Many clinics have expanded their capacity to adjust to the fallout of the court's decision, she added. But "it's insufficient to manage the losses."