According to research published this month, the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade has led to over 30,000 additional births.

Fox News reports that the study found a 2.3 percent increase in births post-Roe v. Wade.

From Fox News:

The 32,000 babies were born in states that enacted some form of abortion restriction, according to the study conducted by the Institute of Labor Economics that looked at the effects of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which returned the issue of abortion to the states.

“Our primary analysis indicates that in the first six months of 2023, births rose by an average of 2.3 percent 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,” according to the study.

The trio of researchers who conducted the study said the shift represented the “most profound transformation of the landscape of U.S. abortion access in 50 years,” based on preliminary births data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“As of November 1, 2023, 14 states are enforcing bans on abortion in nearly all circumstances, and 23 percent of U.S. women of reproductive age have experienced an increase in driving distance to the nearest abortion facility, from an average of 43 miles one-way before Dobbs to 330 miles at present,” the study found.

But, Kristan Hawkins, the president of Students for Life of America, told the New York Times that the research indicated a “triumph that pro-life policies result in lives saved.”

“How much of a difference did abortion bans make in the number of babies born compared to states where abortion remains widely available?” NPR’s Ari Shapiro asked Caitlin Myers of Middlebury College, one of the study’s co-authors.

“Well, it increased the number of births in states enforcing total bans. Our research shows that near-total bans on abortions resulted in about a 2.3% increase in births, relative to what we would have expected if those states weren’t enforcing bans. That is about 30,000 additional births on an annual basis as a result of abortion bans that were enforced in the first months after the Dobbs ruling,” Myers answered.

“And so you’re noting here that some states have partial bans. Your research looked into states with total bans. That 30,000 births number – can you put it into perspective for us? Is it higher or lower than you would have anticipated?” Shapiro asked.

“Yeah, it’s really quite a large number. It reflects about a fifth to perhaps a fourth of people in those states who are seeking abortions and who otherwise would have obtained abortions, who aren’t accessing abortion services as a result of the ban. So it’s a significant number of people in those states. And based on what we learned from the decade prior to Dobbs, I had predicted what the effect of the first set of bans on births might be. And the prediction was about 30,000 fewer births. So when we came through and measured that, it was perhaps, in some ways, not surprising at all,” Myers said.

Cont. from NPR:

SHAPIRO: We know that some people cross state borders in order to terminate a pregnancy. Can you describe the difference between those who did and those who carried out the pregnancy, those who didn’t travel?

MYERS: Yeah. So what we can see in the data available so far is that people have been flooding out of banned states to states where abortions remain legal, seeking abortion services. We also know that requests have been increasing to organizations that will mail-order medication abortion into banned states.

What we know, though, is that not everybody finds one of these avenues to access services, and the people who are the most likely not to find a way to access abortion services are people who are young and women of color. We see much larger effects for Black women and Hispanic women. The other interesting dimension of inequality created by bans is how far away people live from the states that haven’t banned abortion. So the other interesting thing that we can see in the data is that all bans aren’t created equal.

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SHAPIRO: Like, Texas is a very big state. And so if you live in Texas, you might have a much harder time traveling to end a pregnancy than if you are just over the state line from Illinois, for example.

MYERS: Exactly. And so if you look at our estimates, the effect of Missouri’s near-total ban is very close to zero. We observed very little increase in births in Missouri. Compare that to Texas, where we estimate more than a 5% increase in births.

Read the full study from the Institute of Labor Economics HERE.

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