Abortion numbers rose again in Iowa in 2020 as the abortion industry stoked fears during the COVID-19 pandemic and pushed abortion drugs on women.
The Des Moines Register reports 4,058 abortions were performed in 2020 in Iowa, up from 3,566 in 2019. That amounts to a 14-percent increase.
Abortions also increased by about 25 percent from the previous year in 2019, according to the report. The new data comes from an Iowa Department of Public Health report released Thursday.
Not just in Iowa but in many states, abortions were declining to all-time lows within the past five years. However, statistics from 2019 and 2020 are showing a reverse of the trend in a number of states, and many believe the increased availability of abortion drugs are a reason.
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In Iowa, the Register and some Democrat lawmakers blamed the change on Iowa’s success in defunding the abortion chain Planned Parenthood from a state taxpayer-funded family planning program, which provides birth control and sex education.
“I once again think that when they take family planning services away from Iowans and expect abortion numbers to drop, they’re just kidding themselves,” state Sen. Janet Petersen, D-Des Moines, told the Register.
But Maggie DeWitte, executive director of Iowans for Life, said Iowans still have access to birth control. She said a 2018 ruling from the Iowa Supreme Court declaring abortion to be a “fundamental right” is more likely to blame for the increase.
“When you create a fundamental right, that means you can’t regulate abortions in any way,” she told the newspaper. “Our hands are tied.”
DeWitte’s organization and others are working to pass a state constitutional amendment to make it clear that there is no right to abortion or a taxpayer-funded abortion in Iowa.
State Rep. Steven Holt, R-Denison, told the newspaper that he does not think defunding Planned Parenthood had anything to do with the increase either.
“Let’s face it, … Planned Parenthood, their main focus and the way they make their money is abortion, and I think we all know that,” Holt said.
Planned Parenthood does about 95 percent of all abortions in Iowa and about 40 percent in the U.S., according to its own annual reports.
Iowans are trying to protect unborn babies from abortion, but many of their efforts have been blocked by the courts. In June, a federal judge blocked a 2020 law that ensures abortion facilities give women the opportunity to see their unborn babies on an ultrasound and hear their baby’s heartbeat at least 24 hours prior to the abortion. In addition, Iowa requires abortion facilities to provide women with information about abortion risks and resources available for parenting and adoption, and to confirm in writing that the women received it.
Across the country, states are seeing an increase in the sales of abortion drugs, which are used to abort unborn babies up to 10 weeks of pregnancy. The numbers may grow even more after President Joe Biden’s administration stopped enforcing a long-standing safety regulation earlier this year and allowed the abortion drugs to be sold through the mail without the woman ever seeing a doctor in person.
Meanwhile, pro-life advocates are warning mothers of the risks of the drugs and informing them of the life-saving abortion pill reversal procedure, which has saved about 2,000 unborn babies’ lives.