In the six months since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, there were 5,377 fewer abortions on average per month, according to a new report.
The average number of terminations from July through December was 77,073, a 7% drop from the average in April and May, according to a Tuesday report from the Society of Family Planning. In the states with the strictest restrictions—Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin—there were 265 abortions per month on average from July to December. That’s a 96% drop from April and May.
National abortion figures have not returned to levels seen immediately before the June decision in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case, which did away with the constitutional protections for abortion. The average American now lives 275 miles further from an abortion facility than before the decision, with Black, Indigenous and other people of color experiencing the largest increases in travel time.
Patients are increasingly relying on telehealth services for abortion care. In April, virtual care accounted for 4% of all abortions; by December it was 11%, according to the report.
A legal battle over mifepristone, also known as the abortion pill, is putting the future of telehealth at risk. Two conflicting rulings over the legality and availability of the drug, which is used in medication abortions, mean an appeals court will have to intervene and the fight over the drug will likely end up before the Supreme Court.
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Contributor: Kelsey Butler/Bloomberg