The number of abortions taking place nationwide has declined only slightly, if at all, since the Supreme Court freed the States to regulate or forbid abortion as they see fit.
Abortion – the numbers are in
American Liberty News reports two sets of competing numbers of abortions performed before and after the Court ruled. (Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, 597 U.S. ____, 2022.) The Society of Family Planning (SFP) reports a definite decline in the monthly rate of abortion.
Nationally, on average there were 77,073 abortions per month in the post-Dobbs months, as compared to the months before the decision, which had an average of 82,270.
Which works out to 924,876 abortions per year post-Dobbs.
But the Guttmacher Institute, the number crunchers for Planned Parenthood, report 916,460 abortions in the year before Dobbs and 930,160 in the year of. No one has yet advanced an explanation for the apparent discrepancy between two abortion advocacy groups. But the SFP numbers represent a decline of only 6.3 percent.
CNAV predicted this result. Gov. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) literally stockpiled a three-year supply of mifepristone (the most popular abortifacient) in case a future administration enforces the Comstock Act against its distribution in the mail. (The Supreme Court yesterday stayed an order that would have taken the drug off the market.) Gov. Inslee has also threatened unspecified legal retaliation against Gov. Brad Little (R-Idaho). The later recently signed a new “abortion trafficking” law making it a felony to “procure” an abortion – or a supply of an abortion drug – for “a pregnant, unemancipated minor” without the consent of her parent(s) or guardian. Inslee’s remarks suggest he will refuse extradition in such “abortion trafficking” cases.
They thought they could avoid it…!
Justice Samuel A. Alito, and definitely Justice Brett Kavanaugh, thought they could get the courts out of the abortion debate. Events have rapidly disabused the Court of that notion, as their recent mefiprestone stay shows.
Pro-life advocates already know they have a problem. Apart from Idaho’s first-of-its-kind “trafficking” law, adult women are already practicing “abortion tourism.” Some have suggested that Northern and Southwestern Virginia will become centers for such tourism. Or they will unless and until Republicans flip the Senate of Virginia and pass laws limiting abortion.
WRC-TV (Channel 4/NBC, Washington, D.C.) has this map, current as of January 23, 2023, showing where abortion is legal. Six states permit abortion on demand with no questions asked: Alaska, Colorado, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, and Vermont. (Washington, D.C. has a similar abortion-on-demand regime.) Oddly enough, California is one of thirty States that set some limit on abortion by gestational age. (Virginia is another.) These states use either the viability standard or set a limit at 15 to 24 weeks.
Virginia cuts it off after the third trimester. All abortion providers have moved out of North Dakota and Wisconsin, citing “legal ambiguity.”
Twelve States ban abortions at conception “with limited exceptions.” They are: Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia. Florida and Georgia now ban abortion after six weeks.
So how are women in these State getting abortions? By abortion tourism, or mifepristone by mail.
Pro-life advocates seek to amend the Constitution to define a Constitutional person as a human being at all stages of life and development. The last attempt at such a Human Life Amendment came in 1982 – and didn’t even get out of Congress. Amending the Constitution requires the concurrence of:
- Two-thirds of the full memberships of both Houses of Congress, and
- The legislatures of three-fourths of the several States, or special State ratification conventions.
Justices Alito (in his Court Opinion) and Thomas (in his concurrence) suggested in Dobbs that they might be ready to declare a right to life from the bench – if someone were to argue that specifically. Which no one seems to have done.
Idaho, surrounded on all borders by relatively permissive (and in Oregon’s case, totally permissive) abortion States, became the first to protect its minor girls from legions of adults who, for whatever motive, are willing to drive them across the border to get an abortion. The Governor of Washington has threatened a Constitutional crisis the first time Idaho demands extradition in such a case. In fact, the debate could figure in two active secession movements: Greater Idaho, and Texit. Idaho and Texas both are near-total-ban States having totally permissive States on their borders.
Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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