Anti-abortion demonstration in front of the Supreme Court in Washington
In 2020, one in five pregnancies ended in abortion in the United States, with a landmark ruling by the Supreme Court expected in days that would repeal the legalization of the practice at the federal level after half a century.
The number of miscarriages has been in decline for nearly a decade, and this shift has surprised many observers. The Guttmacher Institute, a research group that advocates for abortion rights, counted more than 930,000 abortions in the United States in 2020, up from 862,000 in 2017, when they reached the lowest point since the 1973 Supreme Court ruling authorizing the procedure at the level the National.
The 2020 figure represents an 8% increase compared to 2017. Another measure for calculating the occurrence of the procedure is the percentage of miscarriages per 1,000 women of childbearing age (between 15 and 44 years old), which rose to 14.4%, up from 13.5% three years earlier. For reference, Italian data, released only this week, shows that in 2020, one in seven pregnancies end in miscarriage. The abortion rate in Italy is 5.4%.
The research doesn’t confirm the exact reasons for the new trend, but it does point to some potential factors, including expanding medical coverage for the intervention and increasing public funds available to women who decide to terminate their pregnancy.
Another possible explanation is the strong prevalence of drug abortions, which made up 54% of the total in 2020. It is the first time that the abortion pill is responsible for more than half of all abortions in the United States.
The Guttmacher Institute also warned that the trend could be more important than the latest data it revealed, because the pandemic may have temporarily curtailed measures in some states, which were on the rise before the Corona virus disrupted the lives of many families. In New York, for example, abortions increased from 2017 to 2019, then decreased by 6% between 2019 and 2020, when one in 10 clinics in the state halted or halted procedures due to the pandemic. Texas also saw a 2% drop between 2019 and 2020, due to restrictions linked to the pandemic.
On the other hand, abortion has increased in states that have expanded access to abortion with public money. Illinois, for example, began allowing state funds for Medicaid (the Common Fund for the Poorest) to pay for abortions beginning in January 2018. Since then, procedures have increased 25% in the state. In Illinois, the pregnancies of 6,500 women residing in nearby Missouri were also terminated, as taxpayer money was not allowed to be used. “If states are funding abortions, I hope they also think about how they can support childbirth, so that women don’t think abortion is the best or only option,” said Carol Tobias, chair of the National Legal Committee.
The legal landscape of abortion is undergoing a radical transformation in the United States. A little over a month ago, news leaked out that the US Supreme Court was going to overturn its two earlier rulings that constitute the legal precedents on which abortion legality has been based 49 years ago. If the orientation of the majority of the nine justices is confirmed – and will be known by the end of the month – the “right to abortion” principle will be abolished at the federal level. Then the matter automatically goes to the state parliaments. At the local level, the country is divided into two parts. About half of the 50 US states have already passed or drafted laws banning abortion, while other states have enshrined their legality in their legal system, often without specifying whether anyone crossing state lines to have an abortion is penalized.
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