Ahead of Annual ‘March for Life,’ Abortions Are Increasing in New York, Mirroring National Trend

Abortion numbers for 2023 are expected to ‘substantially exceed’ 2020’s, researchers say.

AP/Patrick Semansky
Participants in the 2023 March for Life rally in front of the Washington Monument. AP/Patrick Semansky

As busloads of New Yorkers head to Washington, D.C., for the nation’s largest march against abortion on Friday, data show that abortions in the state are increasing. 

“New York more broadly has seen an increase in abortion numbers since 2020,” the pro-abortion access Guttmacher Institute tells the Sun, with nearly 14,000 more abortions in New York during the first half of 2023 compared to that period in 2020, data show. The researchers say they aren’t able to separate the data from the state versus New York City, which the Sun in 2011 noted had become “the nation’s premier abortion mill.” 

The increasing numbers follow a broader national trend of spiking abortion rates, attributed to more funding and resources for interstate abortion travel and telehealth. Although a slew of states have restricted abortion access since Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, many states have also increased and promoted abortion access in the wake of the Supreme Court’s 2022 decision to end Roe v. Wade. 

“In the first ten months of 2023, there were an estimated 878,000 abortions in the formal US health care system,” which is 94 percent of the 933,000 abortions performed in 2020, the Guttmacher Institute said in a statement on Wednesday. “Approximately 88,000 abortions have been provided in the formal health care system per month so far in 2023, so with two months of data yet to be published, it is very likely that the total number of abortions provided in 2023 will substantially exceed 2020 numbers.” 

The researchers estimate abortion numbers are even higher because “these counts do not include abortions occurring outside the formal health care system, which are likely to have increased substantially following the implementation of state bans and restrictions.”

Governor Hochul has said that “New York has always been at the forefront of the fight for abortion rights” and that she will fight for it to be a “blueprint” for other states to follow. The state has allocated tens of millions of dollars toward funding abortion capacities, and November’s ballot will include a proposed “Equal Rights Amendment” to enshrine legal abortion into the state’s constitution.

New York ranked near the bottom of Americans United for Life’s “Life List,” which ranks “each state from most to least pro-life.” The states at the bottom of the list, including New York, Oregon, Vermont, Hawaii, New Jersey, and Washington, “have been outrunning each other to enable the extinguishing of human life,” the group’s report said. 

New York City received national attention in 2011 for data indicating nearly 90,000 abortions had been performed in 2009, as Catholic clergy called for action to address the city’s “chilling” abortion rate. At the time, as the Sun noted, Mayor Bloomberg was silent on the fact that 41 percent of the city’s pregnancies ended in abortion and instead supported President Obama’s campaign, saying that abortion weighed “heavily” in that decision. 

Thirteen years later, Mayor Adams has been supportive of greater resources for abortion, launching in October a first-of-its-kind city telehealth abortion program. The Virtual ExpressCare system allows New York patients to speak with doctors on-demand and obtain prescriptions to receive abortion kits in the mail within days.

“Here in New York City, we will not allow the far right to continue its crusade to strip women of their reproductive rights. Last year, an activist Supreme Court undermined almost 50 years of settled law by overturning Roe v. Wade, but New Yorkers know that access to safe, legal abortion care is the cornerstone of public health, and we will not stand idly by as these attacks on women continue,” Mr. Adams said, adding that abortion access would be available “from the comfort of one’s own home.”

He said the program was a first for any city government. “In New York City, we will never stop fighting for a woman’s right to choose the care that is right for them, and we will never stop working to make abortion care more accessible to all New Yorkers,” he said.

The New York Sun

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