25 Abortion Clinics Closed Last Year, Demand for Abortions Not What It Once Was

National   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jan 11, 2019   |   10:57AM   |   Washington, DC

New research indicates at least 25 abortion facilities closed across America in 2018 as more women chose life for their unborn babies.

The Daily Beast reported on research by the University of California, San Francisco and University of California, Berkeley just days after the pro-life group Operation Rescue released a similar report about abortion facilities closing.

The downward trend is good news for unborn babies and mothers, but there also are growing fears about a rise in at-home abortions.

Comparing 2017 and 2018 numbers, the university researchers found there were 25 fewer abortion facilities last year, or a total of 755, according to the report. The university study used a systematic online search for abortion facilities for its research. Operation Rescue, which conducted its own study, counted 40 abortion facility closures in 2018. The difference likely has to do with the method by which each group counted.

UCSF Professor Ushma Upadhyay admitted that there just is not the demand for abortions that there once was. Abortion numbers and rates have been declining steadily in the past decade.

According to the report:

Upadhyay said some clinic closures could be the result of decreased demand because fewer women are having unintended pregnancies. Women who do choose to end their pregnancies are increasingly doing so at home, she added, through abortion-pill services like Aid Access.

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Upadhyay also stressed the financial obstacles that clinic operators face. A disproportionate number of women seeking abortions are poor or low-income, so abortion providers strive to keep their prices low. At the same time, 11 states currently restrict private insurance coverage for abortion and 26 restrict coverage in plans offered through Obamacare. The vast majority of states also limit circumstances where abortion-seekers can be covered by Medicaid—the largest health insurance provider in the country.

“I think clinics are in a really tough position because already they charge so little, they’re not making any profits, [and] the staff works for meager wages because they believe in the service,” Upadhyay said. “It’s not a profitable financial model because providers are twisting themselves into pretzels to keep clinics open.”

This is hard to believe, though, and Upadhyay did not offer any evidence that the abortion industry is suffering financially. On the contrary, Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the U.S., posted a record income of $1.46 billion in its most recent annual report.

The researchers’ mention of at-home abortions is alarming, though. Abortion activists have been openly promoting these dangerous “do-it-yourself” abortions in the past few years, contradicting their past claims about the dangers of such abortions pre-Roe v. Wade. At-home abortions are impossible to count, but many believe they are on the rise in America.

Within its report, the Daily Beast criticized Operation Rescue President Troy Newman’s statement that more women are “rejecting abortion in favor of life.” It claimed his explanation “seems unlikely” because Americans’ opinions on abortion have not changed much over the past few decades.

But opinions are not the same as actions. And Upadhyay admitted that there is not the demand for abortion that their once was. Guttmacher and Centers for Disease Control data on abortions show a steady decline in the abortion rate (number of abortions per 1,000 women of childbearing age), and abortion numbers have dropped to historic lows in the past several years. There are strong indications that young doctors also are rejecting the idea that killing unborn babies should be part of the medical profession. For years, the abortion industry has been complaining about a shortage of abortionists.

These reports do provide encouraging news for the pro-life movement. They indicate that, as pro-lifers expand pregnancy resources, educational outreach and legislative efforts, more women feel empowered to choose life for their babies.