At least 66 abortion clinics across 15 states have stopped performing abortions since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, according to a new report released Thursday.
The Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights, found that the number of clinics providing abortions in the 15 states was at 79 before the high court's decision but dropped to 13 as of October 2.
The remaining 13 clinics are in Georgia. The other states have no providers offering abortions, though some clinics offer women's care other than abortions.
Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, a pro-life advocacy group, estimates that as many as 200,000 unborn children will be saved annually as 24 states have implemented abortion restrictions.
"While two dozen states are poised to protect the unborn and their mothers, saving as many as 200,000 lives a year thanks to the historic Dobbs victory, radical Democrats led by the Biden-Harris administration are determined to use the full weight of the federal government to impose abortion on demand until birth with no limits, paid for by taxpayers, nationwide. Their agenda is wildly out of step with America," said SBA Pro-Life America President Marjorie Dannenfelser.
Despite the decline in abortion clinics, the Guttmacher Institute reports more than half of U.S. abortions are now done with pills rather than surgery.
The group points to the pandemic as the reason for this upward trend in chemical abortions.
In 2020, pills accounted for 54% of all U.S. abortions, up from roughly 44% in 2019.
The use of abortion pills has been rising since 2000 when the Food and Drug Administration approved mifepristone — the main drug used to induce abortions.
As CBN News reported, just days after the Supreme Court overturned Roe. v Wade, the Biden administration unveiled an "action plan" to increase access to "the abortion pill" in states where abortion is outlawed.
But the dangerous side effects of the abortion pill are rarely reported, and the risks are very real.
Tessa Longbons, a senior research associate with the Charlotte Lozier Institute, told CBN News many pro-life advocates refer to the abortion pill, medical abortion, or RU-486 as chemical abortions, and says her organization has discovered the practice is more dangerous than surgical abortions, despite the FDA's pronouncement that it's safe – a claim largely based on incomplete reporting data.
"As many as 95% of all abortion pill complications are not reflected in FDA's data and they don't even collect most data anymore. They only require reporting on deaths," she said.
The procedure includes taking a pill called mifepristone, which blocks a hormone needed for pregnancy to continue, followed one or two days later by misoprostol, a drug that causes cramping that pushes the body of the deceased child from the womb. The combination is approved for use within the first 10 weeks of pregnancy, although some healthcare providers offer it in the second trimester, a practice called off-label use.
Last year, the FDA dropped the requirement that doctors see patients in person before prescribing it, opening the door to a vast telemedicine abortion expansion in which women can receive the pills in the mail without medical oversight.
However, in 32 states, medication abortions must be prescribed by physicians even though other health care providers, including physician assistants, can prescribe other medicines.
Some media outlets have now recommended simplifying the abortion pill regimen to only one of its components – misoprostol – because it's more easily obtained, reads a study by the Charlotte Lozier Institute.
"The influential Atlantic magazine recently promoted this 'one drug regimen' as a viable alternative to the standard combination regimen. Yet, evidence from around the globe demonstrates that misoprostol alone is a poor abortifacient and very likely to cause injury to women," writes Ingrid Skop, Senior Fellow and Director of Medical Affairs at Charlotte Lozier Institute.
"These recommendations by abortion advocates in the media demonstrate conclusively that their goal is not the safety and well-being of women, but merely the death of as many unborn humans as possible through expansion of abortion by any means," she continued.
Former Planned Parenthood director turned pro-life advocate, Abby Johnson told CBN News she knows first-hand the complications of medical abortions.
"[Abortion pills] can cause severe bleeding and pain: my medication abortion, which was depicted in the movie Unplanned, caused me to think I was dying but no one at Planned Parenthood told me the truth about what to expect," she explained.
Pro-life activist Toni McFadden adds that she had terrible pain that erupted two months after taking the pill.
"I started getting the most excruciating pains going throughout my entire body, and I went into the bathroom and there were blood clots the size of my fists leaving my body, bleeding for hours," Toni said. "I went through this pretty much all by myself."
Two years later, a routine medical exam revealed more damage.
"The nurse asked me if I had an abortion before, and I said, 'Yes, why did you ask me that?' And she said because you have scar tissue," Toni recalled.
As the Biden administration pushes chemical abortions, Longbons warns in the long-run it hurts women.
"They're pushing for less and less medical oversight, sending the drugs through the mail," she added. "Incomplete abortions, where pieces of the baby are left inside the woman's uterus, that is a frequent complication with chemical abortion, and that's why we had so many people admitted to the hospital to have to finish these abortions."