(OPINION) Over 930,000 abortions occurred in the United States in 2020, representing an increase from three years earlier, according to a research organization with historic ties to Planned Parenthood. The Guttmacher Institute released its abortion data for 2020 last week, reporting that a little over 930,000 abortions took place in the U.S. in 2020, which represents an 8% increase from 862,320 abortions in 2017.

Additionally, Guttmacher found a 7% increase in the abortion rate for women ages 15 to 44, rising from 13.5 per 1,000 women in 2017 to 14.4 per 1,000 women. One in five pregnancies ended in abortion in 2020, a 12% increase, with the abortion ratio increasing from 18.4% in 2017 to 20.6% in 2020.

From 2017 to 2020, noted the report, abortions increased by 12% in the West and 10% in the Midwest. Abortions also increased by 8% in the South and 2% in the Northeast, respectively.


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According to the research institute, this spike in abortions was accompanied by a 6% decline in births between 2017 and 2020, citing February data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Guttmacher contended that this suggests fewer women were getting pregnant during this time, and a larger proportion of those who did chose to have an abortion.

One reason for the increase, the Institute suggests, is related to the Trump-Pence administration’s 2019 “Protect Life Rule,” which banned abortion businesses such as Planned Parenthood, which provides or refers women for abortions, from receiving federal tax dollars. The Biden administration reversed the rule last October.

Guttmacher claims that the Trump administration reduced the capacity of these programs to provide contraceptive care, resulting in more unintended pregnancies and abortions due to a supposed lack of access to low-cost or no-cost contraceptives.

However, Michael J. New, a researcher and associate scholar at the pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute, noted in a piece for National Review that the abortion rate already started increasing in 2019, before Planned Parenthood withdrew from the Title X program.

The CDC’s 2019 Abortion Surveillance report showed the total number of abortions increased by 2% compared to 2018, with the abortion ratio and rate of reported abortions increasing by 3% and 2%, respectively. In a statement sent to The Christian Post on Tuesday, New asserted that the Guttmacher report “should concern pro-lifers,” as the associate scholar believes the rise in the U.S. abortion rate is tied to an increase in chemical abortions.