Study: 32,000 More Live Births After Fall of Roe v. Wade

mother holds her newborn's hand baby
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Approximately 32,000 babies in the U.S. were born this year that may have otherwise been aborted, according to a study from the Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

The study was conducted after the fall of Roe v. Wade last summer — a 1973 Supreme Court decision that had invented the “right” to abortion. The purpose of the study was to figure out how post-Roe abortion bans are affecting fertility, with researchers using provisional state resident birth counts to estimate how births are changing in states that have outlawed abortion relative to pro-abortion states.

“Our primary analysis indicates that in the first six months of 2023, births rose by an average of 2.3 percent in states enforcing total abortion bans compared to a control group of states where abortion rights remained protected, amounting to approximately 32,000 additional annual births resulting from abortion bans,” according to the study.

The study’s authors ultimately called the post-Roe shift the “most profound transformation of the landscape of U.S. abortion access in 50 years.”

“As of November 1, 2023, 14 states are enforcing bans on abortion in nearly all circumstances, and 23 percent of U.S. women of reproductive age have experienced an increase in driving distance to the nearest abortion facility, from an average of 43 miles one-way before Dobbs to 330 miles at present,” the study found.

The study found the effects on abortion stats were “especially large” for women ages 20 to 24 and Hispanic women, with birth rates estimated to have increased 3.3 percent and 4.7 percent respectively.

“The estimated increases were larger in states such as Mississippi (4.4 percent) and Texas (5.1 percent), where the geography of bans renders interstate travel more costly,” the study states.

UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 18: President Joe Biden speaks about the importance of electing Democrats who want to restore abortion rights, during an event hosted by the Democratic National Committee at the Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, October 18, 2022. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

President Joe Biden speaks about the importance of electing Democrats who want to restore abortion access during an event on October 18, 2022. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

The authors of the study appear to view 32,000 extra births as negative news, suggesting evidence points to “diminished abortion access” that “poses a risk to the health and financial stability” of “vulnerable population[s].”

“In 2020, approximately 1 in 5 pregnancies ended in abortion,” the study reads. “At the time they seek abortions, 75 percent of patients are low-income, 59 percent have previously given birth, and 55 percent report a recent disruptive life event such as falling behind on the rent or losing a job.”

In a comment to the New York Times, Student for Life President Kristan Hawkins noted that “the insinuation of a lot of coverage of such data points is that it’s a bad thing for there to be more children welcomed in states with better laws than in states that fast-track abortion.”

“It’s a triumph that pro-life policies result in lives saved,” Hawkins countered.

The study comes after reports from pro-abortion organizations that abortions have increased since the Supreme Court overturned Roe, with women traveling to neighboring pro-abortion states or ordering abortion pills online. The IZA study notes that estimates of “surging abortion volumes” in states bordering states with strong pro-life laws “suggests that travel is indeed occurring.”

“Moreover, even for those pregnant people who are unable to find a way to manage the logistics and costs of a lengthy trip to receive healthcare services, organizations such as Aid Access will supply medication abortion via mail to ban states for pregnant people to self-manage their abortions safely and effectively,” according to the study. “Evidence of surging requests to Aid Access suggests that this, too, is occurring.” 

Katherine Hamilton is a political reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow her on X @thekat_hamilton.


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