July 2022 by Lenya Heitzig
Numbers Matter in the Abortion Debate
As the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade the nation seems more divided than ever about whose rights are being wronged.
Some raged against the loss of abortion rights by wearing fake blood-soaked clothes as they brandished baby dolls to protest in front of Justice Amy Comey Barrett’s home. Conversely, other women broke out in celebration for the advancement of human rights, specifically the life of the unborn, after nearly 50 years of marching, praying, and lobbying to end the landmark ruling.
In the wake of 63 million abortions, right to lifers rejoiced that democracy had prevailed. Playing the long game, they banked on the ideal that elections have consequences. My voice, my vote. Numbers matter at the ballot box as presidential candidates wield great power from the bully pulpit, in the privilege of executive order, and nominating supreme court justices. After decades of a supreme court stacked with judges possessing decidedly liberal interpretations of the constitution, in 2020 we saw the court swing back toward constitutional conservative ideals. At last, the bench aligned in 6 to 3 decisions that favored the core values established by our Founding Fathers.
Policy by the numbers is nothing new to our democracy as it was founded on the principle of “we the people.” Our state representatives are to reflect the wishes of their constituents. But there are other numbers that matter more deeply. They are the number of innocent lives lost. The shockingly low price to end a life. And the devastatingly selfish reasons to tear an infant from its mother’s womb. The majority of women polled basically said the reason for their abortion was that the baby was inconvenient, unaffordable, or an acceptable form of contraception. Read the following numbers to learn how they have been stacked against the guiltless unborn for far too long.
Number of abortions in the US during 2019 according to the CDC.
Number of abortions in 2020 updated since the CDC does not include CA, ML and NH. Guttmacher Institute uses data from all states.1
Cost of medication for abortion during the first trimester without insurance
according to a study by Health Affairs. 2
Cost of surgical procedure during the second trimester without insurance
according to a study by Health Affairs.2
Number of facilities that provide abortions in the US.
808 clinics, 518 hospitals, and 261 physicians’ offices. 3
Of the women seeking an abortion
55% 65% 60%
Are single and likely Have attended some Have given birth
living with a partner college previously previously 4
The top three reasons women have an abortion:
74% say having a baby will dramatically change my life
73% say that they can’t afford a baby now
48% don’t want to be single mothers or have relationship problems
because of rape 5
because of incest 5
Those are the numbers. But numbers can feel like hard, cold facts. They can also curate a point of view. Therefore, it is important to remember that every number could bear a name. Statistics represent a story. And every heartbeat began by the touch of a Heavenly hand. While pro abortionists shout on the streets, “I love killing babies.” People of faith know that God loves saving babies. The moment an aborted infant breathes its last breath on earth is the moment of their first inhale the life-giving air of heaven.
1 Jeffe Diamant and Besbeer Mohamed, Pew Research, What the data says about abortion in the U.S., June 24, 2022, https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2022/06/24/what-the-data-says-about-abortion-in-the-u-s-2/, Accessed 7/9/22
2 Ushma D. Upadhyay, Chris Ahlbach, Shelly Kaller, Clara Cook, and Isabel Muñoz, Health Affairs, Trends in Self-Pay Charges And Insurance Acceptance For Abortion In The United States, 2017-20, April 2022, https://www.healthaffairs.org/doi/pdf/10.1377/hlthaff.2021.01528,, Accessed 7/9/22
3 Robin Levinson-King & Chloe Kim & Paul Sargeant, BBC NEWS, Abortion: What does overturn of Roe v Wade mean?, 6/29/22, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-61804777, Accessed 7/9/22
4 Rachel K. Jones, Elizabeth Witwer, and Jenna Jerman, Guttmacher Institute, Abortion Incidence and Service Availability in the United States, 2017, September 2019, https://www.guttmacher.org/report/abortion-incidence-service-availability-us-2017#, Accessed 7/9/22
5 Alia E. Dastagir, USA TODAY, Rape and incest account for hardly any abortions. So why are they now a focus?, 5/24/19, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/05/24/rape-and-incest-account-few-abortions-so-why-all-attention/1211175001/, Accessed 7/9/22