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Abortions In North Carolina Have Sharply Declined After Republicans Implemented Sweeping Ban

Source: News and Observer

In the month after Republicans in the state legislature implemented a sweeping abortion ban, abortions in the state have fallen 31%, according to a new analysis from the Guttmacher Institute.

North Carolina abortion clinics performed more than 4,200 abortions in June, but just 2,920 abortions in July after the 12-week ban went into place, according to the new data.

Dr. Jonas Swartz, an abortion provider in Chapel Hill, noted that the drop was far greater than would be expected if the sweeping abortion ban only stopped abortions that occurred after 12 weeks, as those abortions account for just 7% of cases.

“It’s not like you only eliminated those cases that were beyond that first trimester,” Swartz said. “They put barriers in place so that those under the legal limit were unable to access care.”

In addition to a ban on abortions after twelve weeks, the law passed by Republicans also includes an onerous and medically unnecessary new requirement that abortion patients show up for an in-person consultation at an abortion clinic at least 72 hours before their abortion.

On the patient end, two appointments, days apart, means additional time needed for daycare, leave from work, and accommodations near the clinic, Swartz said. And from the clinic’s end, “we’re still working to figure out how you provide twice as many visits with the same number of clinic slots,” he said.

According to the data from Guttmacher, states neighboring North Carolina did not see a comparable surge in abortions, suggesting that patients denied abortions in North Carolina had to seek help outside a formal health care setting or were forced to continue a pregnancy they did not want.

Calla Hales, who runs A Preferred Women’s Health Center, a network of clinics, decried the sweeping ban passed by Republicans.

“It’s like the state cut us off at the knees,” she said.


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