What Happens After Roe? Human Lives Will be Saved

The Human Life Review Publishes “Closed Clinics and ‘Reduced Access’ Save Lives” by National Right to Life’s Director of Education and Research

WASHINGTON—Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D., National Right to Life’s Director of Education and Research, argues in the most recent issue of The Human Life Review that the biggest impact if Roe v. Wade is overturned will likely be thousands and thousands of unborn lives saved.

In the article, “Closed Clinics and ‘Reduced Access’ Save Lives,” O’Bannon takes a look at abortion and birth data from Texas from before and after the period of 2014 to 2017 when state laws were in effect limiting the disbursement of “family planning” funds and imposing basic safety regulations that many say were responsible for closing half the state’s abortion clinics.

O’Bannon shares the findings of three California economists who looked at the data and found the laws and the clinic closings were associated with a 20% decline in the abortion rate and a 3% increase in births in Texas (because births outnumbered abortions by a seven-to-one margin in Texas, the underlying numbers are closer than the percentages might suggest).

All told, there were nearly 18,000 fewer abortions in Texas in 2014 than there were just three years before this latest round of legislation and more than 12,000 more births in 2014 than just the year before.

Abortion advocates typically argue that the closing of one abortion clinic only means that women delay their abortions and end up getting them somewhere else, often out of state. These later abortions, they say, increase their risk and their expense, but do not significantly reduce their resolve.

O’Bannon examined these claims more carefully in his article, but found out that, for the most part, the data did not support the advocates’ contention.

Some women may have traveled out of state, but statistics from surrounding states do not show that. In a footnote, O’Bannon notes that between 2011 and 2014, abortions fell in most of the states abutting Texas –Colorado (-1,550), Louisiana (-2,060), New Mexico (-530), Oklahoma (-530). Only Arkansas and Kansas showed slight increases (+220 and +300, respectively), nowhere near enough to offset the losses in other states or account for the missing Texas abortions.

“This analysis shows us some idea of what to expect when and if the Court overrules Roe and gives states the authority to protect the lives of unborn children and their mothers,” stated Dr. O’Bannon. “Contrary to the claims of pro-abortion groups, the evidence provided by this case study shows that the majority of women facing an unplanned pregnancy choose life for their children.”

To read the complete article as it appears in The Human Life Review, visit National Right to Life’s website here.