Study reveals how overturning Roe v Wade affected US births

Lazy eyes listen


According to the findings of a study, tens of thousands of newborns were born in states that imposed abortion restrictions in the aftermath of the US Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade verdict last year.

In June 2022, the United States Supreme Court voted 6-3 to overturn the Roe v Wade decision, which established abortion as a federal right, effectively ending five decades of legal safeguards for women seeking the surgery. The court’s decision set in motion a procedure for individual states to regulate or outright prohibit pregnancy abortion.

Now, over 17 months later, a research released this month by the Institute of Labour Economics concluded that approximately 32,000 kids have been born that would otherwise have died.

“Our primary analysis indicates in the first six months of 2023, births rose by an average of 2.3% in states enforcing total abortion bans compared to a control group of states where abortion rights remained protected, amounting to approximately 32,000 additional annual births resulting from abortion bans,” the authors of the study wrote.

According to the report, birth data from the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) demonstrate “the most profound transformation of the landscape of US abortion access in 50 years.” It also discovered that 23% of US women of reproductive age have seen an increase in the distance they must travel to get an abortion, from an average of 43 miles to 330 miles.

When compared to the threshold set by the Supreme Court’s initial opinion in January 1973, 21 states have banned abortions or restricted access to the procedure since Roe v Wade was overturned.

According to Kristan Hawkins, head of the pro-life advocacy group Students for Life America, the study’s findings show that “pro-life policies result in lives saved,” she told the New York Times this week.

However, opponents of the repeal of abortion rights argue that the findings indicate an increasing cost on low-income women. According to Alison Gemmill of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the results reveal a “assault on reproductive autonomy.”

She cited research showing that 75% of abortions in the United States in 2020 will be performed on low-income women, with 55% having recently undergone disruptive events such as the loss of a house or employment. The authors of the study appeared to concur with this assessment, noting in the report that  “diminished abortion access poses a risk to health and financial stability of this vulnerable population.”