According to new report by pro-choice think tank Guttmacher Institute, over 930,000 abortions were performed in the United States in 2020, indicating a spike from three years earlier.
The findings of the report, which was released last week, show that more than 930,000 pregnancies were terminated in 2020, representing an 8 percent increase from 862,320 abortions in 2017.
A 7 percent increase in the abortion rate was also seen among women ages 15-44, increasing from 13.5 percent per 1,000 women in 2017 to 14.4 percent per 1,000 women in 2020.
Guttmacher, a former Planned Parenthood affiliate, found that in 2020, one in five pregnancies ended due to abortion. This finding represented a 12 percent increase between 2017 and 2020, with the abortion ratio rising from 18.4 percent to 20.6 percent.
The abortion rate between 2017 and 2020 also increased nationwide, including in the West (12 percent), the Midwest (10 percent), the South (8 percent), and the Northeast (2 percent).
Citing February data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the research institute noted that the spike in abortions were accompanied by a 6 percent decline in births between 2017 and 2020.
According to Guttmacher, the finding implies that fewer women were getting pregnant at the time, while a larger proportion of pregnant women decided to get an abortion.
The Institute also suggested that the spike in abortion is attributed to the Trump-Pence administration’s 2019 “Protect Life Rule,” which prevented abortion business, including Planned Parenthood, from receiving federal tax dollars. Last October, however, President Joe Biden reversed the rule.
Guttmacher contended that the Trump administration decreased the capacity of these programs to distribute contraceptive care, resulting in an increase of unplanned pregnancies and abortions in light of an alleged lack of access to low-cost or no-cost contraceptives.
Michael J. New, a researcher and associate scholar at the pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute, however, suggested that the abortion rate had already gone up in 2019, before Planned Parenthood dropped out of the Title X program.
According to the CDC’s 2019 Abortion Surveillance report, the total number of abortions increased by 2 percent in contrast to 2018, where the abortion ratio and rate of reported abortions increased by 3 percent and 2 percent.
In a statement to The Christian Post, New warned that the Guttmacher report “should concern pro-lifers” as he contended that the increased abortion rate is linked to an increase in chemical abortions.
According to cited data from the Institute in February, 54 percent of U.S. abortions in 2020 were attributed to chemical abortions.
New noted that chemical abortions are now “easier to access” after the Food and Drug Administration permanently lifted the in-person dispensing requirement for abortion pills in 2021 following a temporary lift during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The associate scholar also pointed out that abortion policies have become more permissive in states such as Illinois and Maine, which both passed laws to cover elective programs through their state Medicaid programs.
“Unsurprisingly, the abortion rate increased by 28 percent in Illinois and by 15 percent in Maine,” New said in the statement. “Part of the Illinois increase was due to more out-of-state women seeking abortions in Illinois.”
“However, the fact that the state Medicaid program started to fund elective abortions in 2018 certainly played a role in this abortion rate increase,” he added.