Since 2010, a shade over 50 clinics offering abortion services have closed due to new state legislation limiting the procedure, according to a recent survey.
Fifty-two abortion clinics have shut their doors in 26 states, according to a Huffington Post nationwide survey of state health departments, the results off which were announced Monday morning.
The Post further noted:
Several more clinics are only still open because judges have temporarily blocked legislation that would make it difficult for them to continue to operate. Nebraska and Massachusetts have each added one clinic since 2010, and the other 22 states, most of which have not passed new anti-abortion laws since 2010, were unable to accurately count their clinics because their health departments do not license abortion providers separately from other kinds of medical providers.
“This kind of change is incredibly dramatic,” said Elizabeth Nash, state issues manager at the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health research organization. “What we’ve been seeing since 1982 was a slow decline, but this kind of change … [is] so different from what’s happened in the past.”
Disregarding the fact that 52 clinic closures across 26 states works out to an average of a mere two per state, it’s instructive to examine how the states have restricted abortions in recent years. They can be generally lumped into two categories: restricting abortions by time and facility.
The recently-passed Texas law does both, by banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, and by requiring clinics to meet the standards of an ambulatory surgical center. It also mandates that a doctor have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion facility, according to The New York Times.
With respect to time, late-term abortions are rapidly losing favor in the United States. The Washington Post conducted a survey in July that indicated the public overwhelmingly would either outlaw abortion altogether, or limit it earlier than 20 weeks of gestation. The poll results margin was 56 to 27 percent.
Moreover, 20 weeks is itself a long period when compared to what goes on in Europe. The Weekly Standard reported in July that the vast majority of European countries limit abortions to 12 weeks after fertilization — not 20.
As for clinic facilities, the Center for Disease Control reported 403 maternal deaths as the result of legal abortions from the years 1973 to 2008, 12 of them in 2008.
Those on the left calling for abortions “any time, for any reason,” cite “women’s health” as the underlying factor. There can be no greater health issue than life itself.
The panic the Huffington Post reported Monday on abortion clinic closures is misplaced. Roe vs. Wade is still the law of the land, and in recognition of this fact, states are simply making the procedure as safe as possible for everyone.