Abortion rights activists from UltraViolet organize a light brigade outside the U.S. Supreme Court on November 30, 2021 in Washington, DC. On Wednesday, the Court will hear arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, a case about a Mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks, long before fetal viability. With the addition of conservative justices to the court by former President Donald Trump, experts believe this could be the most important abortion case in decades and could undermine or overturn Roe v. Wade. | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
After decades of declining, the number of abortions nationwide and in Michigan is increasing, according to a new report.
Research by the Guttmacher Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based abortion rights think tank, found the number of abortions in Michigan rose 18% between 2017 to 2020.
In 2020, there were 31,510 abortions in Michigan— 4,880 more abortions than in 2017.
This data comes at a time where the country waits to hear a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court on the future of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark decision that enshrined the right to an abortion in the Constitution.
A draft decision from the nation’s highest court was leaked last month that suggested justices are leaning toward overturning Roe. A final decision is expected before the court recesses next week.
“The Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade at a time when need for abortion care has been increasing—including in many of the 26 states likely to ban abortion following the Court’s official decision,” wrote Rachel Jones, lead author of the Guttmacher report. “This means the impact of the ruling could be even more devastating than predicted by prior analyses, particularly for people across the country who already struggle to access abortion care.”
The Institute attributed the rise in abortions to a reduction in funding for low-cost and no-cost contraception during the Trump administration. In addition some states expanded Medicaid coverage providing poor and low-income people access to care and “local and national abortion funds increased their capacity and helped even more people pay for their abortions.’’
Planned Parenthood of Michigan declined to comment on these findings.
The country as a whole saw an increase in abortions over those three years. In 2020, there were 930,160 abortions in the United States, an 8% increase from 862,320 abortions in 2017.
Michigan has the ninth highest increase in abortion rates in that timeframe, behind Oklahoma (103%), Washington D.C. (67%), Mississippi (40%), Idaho (31%), Kentucky (28%), New Mexico (27%), Illinois (25%) and Kansas (20%).
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