As an imploding abortion industry struggles to remain solvent amid a falling demand for abortions, there have been significant shifts in how abortions are being done and how late into pregnancy abortion clinics are willing to do them, according to new information gathered during Operation Rescue’s 2018 Abortion Clinic Survey.
Each year, Operation Rescue conducts a nationwide survey that involves contacting each abortion business in the U.S. Information gathered about the abortion clinics and their practices represents the most accurate data available. The most recent survey was conducted from November 26 through December 14, 2018.
The survey also collected information about the cost of the most common abortions in the first trimester and how long women must wait for an abortion appointment, both of which have revealed insights into how the business of abortion is changing.
“These trends signal a certain level of desperation among abortionists to compete for every abortion dollar possible,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “Competition is fierce, and we are seeing organizations like Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses reorganizing to stay afloat – not all of them successfully.”
In fact, Operation Rescue’s survey results indicated that U.S. abortion facility numbers dropped in 2018 to a historic low of 697. This decrease is in keeping with a national trend that has seen abortion facility numbers drop by 79 percent since 1991. (See Part One of this report.)
Perhaps the most significant trend shifts were related to surgical abortions.
- Surgical abortion facilities are slowly being replaced by clinics that offer abortion-inducing drugs that can only be used in the first-trimester of pregnancy.
- There has been a dramatic reduction in the number of facilities that conduct abortions at 20 weeks gestation or more.
Gestation Age Limits
Operation Rescue analyzed the self-imposed gestational limits of each of the 697 abortion facilities in America.
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Over all, clinics that restrict abortions to the first-trimester overwhelmingly outnumber those that are willing to abort in the later stages of pregnancy. This includes both surgical and medication-only abortion clinics.
A total of 443 surgical and medical abortion clinics confine themselves to first-trimester abortions (from conception). This represents 64 percent of all abortion clinics in the U.S.
Out of the 470 surgical abortion clinics, 213 limit abortions to 14 weeks (post conception) and under.
Of the 230 medical abortion facilities all confine the dispensing of abortion drugs to the current FDA-approved limit of 10 weeks gestation or under. None go beyond 10 weeks.
There are 121 clinics willing to venture into the riskier world of early second-trimester surgical abortions, yet will not go beyond the end of 19 weeks.
“We go as high as needed.”
Abortions done at 20 weeks or later gestation are riskier, rarer, and much more expensive. Nevertheless, there are 133 abortion clinics that conduct abortions this late into pregnancy.
In 2016, there were 164 abortion facilities that conducted abortions at 20 weeks or later — 31 more than 2018. This represents an impressive 19 percent reduction in the number of very-late-term abortion facilities over just the past two years.
Planned Parenthood now occupies an ever-growing piece of a shrinking late-term abortion pie. Out of those 133 clinics that now conduct abortions at 20 weeks and later, 37 are Planned Parenthood facilities – more than double the 18 Planned Parenthood clinics that were willing to do such late abortions just two years ago.
This could be an indication that Planned Parenthood is attempting to expand into the expensive late-term abortion business where an abortion can cost several thousand dollars. There would certainly be a profit motive for such an expansion, especially in a time when more states are blocking Planned Parenthood’s public funding and a federal rule change will prevent them from receiving millions of tax dollars in Title X family planning grants this spring.
Ironically, despite evidence to the contrary, none of the late-term clinics admitted to doing abortions past 28 weeks, except for the Boulder Abortion Clinic, owned and operated by Warren Hern in Boulder, Colorado. His facility told an Operation Rescue investigator, “We go as high as needed.”
The number of abortion facilities that are publicly known to conduct abortions throughout all nine months of pregnancy have changed very little since 2009. None of them are Planned Parenthood affiliates. They include:
- Warren Hern’s Boulder Abortion Clinic in Boulder, Colorado. (Stated Limit: As high as needed)
- Curtis Boyd’s Southwestern Women’s Options in Albuquerque, New Mexico. (Stated limit: 28 weeks)
- LeRoy Carhart’s AbortionClinics.org in Bethesda, Maryland. (Stated limit: 27 weeks)
- Josepha Seletz’s Sinai Medical Center in Beverly Hills, California. (Stated limit: 24 weeks)
- Martin Haskell’s Women’s Med Center in Dayton, Ohio. (Stated limit: 22 weeks)
LifeNews.com Note: Cheryl Sullenger is a leader of Operation Rescue.