Abortions Drop 50% in Indiana as Babies are Saved Even Before Ban Takes Effect

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Mar 16, 2023   |   9:41AM   |   Indianapolis, Indiana

The Indiana abortion ban appears to be saving unborn babies’ lives despite a court order temporarily blocking the law.

According to the Indiana Capital Chronicle, new abortion data from the state shows a nearly 50-percent drop in abortions from October to January, representing hundreds of unborn babies’ lives.

From July to September, immediately after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Indiana abortion facilities reported an average of 1,048 abortions a month to the state department of health. However, abortions dropped drastically later that fall, and an average of 552 unborn babies were aborted in October through January, the Chronicle found.

Comparing month to month, there were 405 abortions in January 2023, down from 793 abortions that same month in 2021, according to the report.

Notably, the numbers are not complete. The state has not released a final abortion report for 2022 yet, and abortion facilities have 30 days to submit abortion reports to the health department. Still, the initial reports are an encouraging sign.

Indiana became the first state that passed a law to protect unborn babies from abortion after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe in June. The pro-life law bans abortions with exceptions for rape, incest, fatal fetal anomalies and situations when the mother’s life is at risk.

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Indiana Right to Life estimates the law will save as many as 150 unborn babies from abortion every week. However, a judge quickly blocked the law, and state leaders are battling in court to enforce it.

Meanwhile, abortion groups say many women are confused about the legality of abortion in the state, and fewer are seeking abortions as a result, according to the Chronicle. Abortion facilities also have been struggling to find staff willing to help abort unborn babies, a problem in the abortion industry for many years.

The largest abortion facility in the state, a Planned Parenthood in Indianapolis, stopped aborting unborn babies at the end of February and it’s not clear if the abortion chain plans to restart, the report continues. So, abortion numbers could drop even more in the coming months.

Here’s more from the report:

Dr. Katie McHugh, a licensed gynecologist in Indianapolis who provides abortion[s], attributed much of the decline to uncertainty surrounding Indiana’s laws and whether the ban is still in effect. …

McHugh said she and other abortion care providers operate in a sort of legal limbo, where the anticipated decision from the Indiana Supreme Court could alter their practice indefinitely.

It’s very complicated when you’re trying to schedule patients, when you’re trying to place supply orders (on medicine) … if you don’t know if you can literally provide care tomorrow,” McHugh said.

The Indiana Supreme Court heard arguments about the abortion ban in January. It is not clear when the justices will rule on the law.

Currently, 14 states are enforcing pro-life laws that prohibit or strictly limit the killing of unborn babies in abortions, and others are fighting in court to do the same. Pro-life leaders estimate tens of thousands of babies’ lives have been saved since the overturning of Roe v. Wade in June.

Polls consistently show a strong majority of Americans support legal protections for unborn babies, especially after the first trimester or once their heartbeat is detectable.