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Wisconsin scholars lament that abortion ban has already saved the lives of thousands of babies in the Badger state

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Nationally, at least 32,000 babies are alive today because of the Dobbs decision and vigorous action by state legislatures

They are not the first and certainly not the last to express their concerns. However, the moaning and groaning of Tiffany Green, an associate professor of population health sciences and obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Jenny Higgins, a professor at the University of Wisconsin, reveal in unambiguous terms the life-saving impact of pro-life legislation.

The authors’ initial assertion is as follows: The evidence indicates that the banning of abortion in the state has led to an increase in the number of births that were most likely unintended. This increase has a negative impact on Wisconsinites and their families in multiple ways.

Not a single word in their 518-word essay offers any positive commentary on the tens of thousands of infants who are alive today as a result of the Dobbs decision and the proactive actions taken by state legislatures.

We repost today a comprehensive analysis by Kelsey Hazzard, Board President of Secular Pro-Life, which offers a positive assessment of the impact of pro-life legislation. She cites a New York Times article that arrives at a similar conclusion, albeit on a larger scale than that of a single state.

The New York Times reported that “almost a quarter of women who would have gotten abortions carried their pregnancies to term” and that “the [anti-abortion] laws caused around 32,000 annual births.” It quoted a researcher as stating that “when you take away access [to abortion], it can affect fertility.” While none of these statements are untrue, they are dancing around the obvious. In an article about babies, they can’t bring themselves to talk about babies! Not until the fifth-to-last paragraph is there any sort of acknowledgment that the pregnancies carried to term, the births, the “affected fertility,” represent actual human people:

According to a study by Margot Sanger-Katz and Claire Cain Miller published in the New York Times, the number of births increased in every state that had enacted a ban on abortion. The researchers employed a statistical method that compared states with similar trends in births before the Dobbs decision to estimate how much a ban changed the expected birth rate. This approach increased their certainty that the change was due to the policy and not other factors.

Green and Higgins reached their conclusions based on a study entitled “The Effects of the Dobbs Decision on Fertility.”

On page 17 of the 66-page analysis, we read, “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.”

They further observe that, as a preliminary estimation, the projected increase in births resulting from bans can be compared to the most recent resident abortion counts prior to the Dobbs decision. This comparison suggests that approximately one-fifth to one-fourth of individuals seeking abortions may have been unable to obtain them due to bans.

To reiterate, it is true that some women will relocate to states with more liberal abortion laws in order to access them. However, it is estimated that as many as 25% of women did not have an abortion. Consequently, a greater proportion of infants were born in states with abortion bans (2.3%) than in states without such restrictions.

The Times’ Sanger-Katz and Miller conclude their article with the optimistic assertion that, for a number of reasons, the number of births could potentially decline.

“The abortion landscape continues evolving,” Professor Mayra Pineda-Torres said. “People are adjusting, providers are adjusting, laws are adjusting.”


Chelsea Garcia is a political writer with a special interest in international relations and social issues. Events surrounding the war in Ukraine and the war in Israel are a major focus for political journalists. But as a former local reporter, she is also interested in national politics.

Chelsea Garcia studied media, communication and political science in Texas, USA, and learned the journalistic trade during an internship at a daily newspaper. In addition to her political writing, she is pursuing a master's degree in multimedia and writing at Texas.

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