According to Planned Parenthood’s annual report, documenting their work from 2018-2019, the non-profit performed more abortions than ever before — 345,672 — a 4% increase from their previous high from 2017.
That occurred while several states increased restrictions on abortion services and while the GOP-run federal government did everything it could to block funding (especially to Planned Parenthood) for women seeking the procedure.
If that sounds like a contradiction to you, then you must be a Republican.
While there are many factors that go into a woman’s decision to have an abortion, and it’s hard to pinpoint exact causes for an increase or decrease in abortion rates, there’s plenty of evidence that abortion rates tend to be lower when Democrats are in power, much to the chagrin of conservatives who think restricting or banning abortion will actually stop the procedure from happening.
We just saw that in Colorado, where free and easy access to contraception helped the abortion rates fall tremendously.
By getting in the way of affordable healthcare and a living wage, and by pushing policies that block women from having abortions without also working to make parenthood more affordable, conservatives are making it more likely that women get pregnant when they don’t want to be. They may seek out underground solutions — less sanitary and more dangerous — or they’ll travel to a place like Planned Parenthood.
Conservatives want to frame the abortion issue as people being selfish and wanting to live for themselves. I wonder how many of them have ever had to put a child to bed hungry because they couldn’t afford food after paying rent.
The increased abortions suggest the importance of Planned Parenthood and serve as a reminder that we’re putting an unfair burden on one organization to handle what the government really ought to be covering: basic health care for women.
If nothing else, the numbers show that conservative “pro-life” policies have backfired by their own standards. If voters really wanted to decrease the number of abortions, they would vote for progressive Democrats.