The number of abortions performed in North Carolina dropped by 31% after a new state law prohibiting abortions after 12 weeks’ gestation took effect.

The Care for Women, Children and Families Act (SB 20) took effect on July 1, 2023, leading to 1,310 fewer abortions performed in North Carolina in July, compared to June, a study has found.

The analysis was performed by the Guttmacher Institute, an anti-life research group that was founded as a part of Planned Parenthood.

In its analysis of previous pro-life state laws, Guttmacher said it found that abortions increased in states that were close to or bordering states that restrict abortion.

However, this did not occur with SB 20. “As abortions dropped significantly in North Carolina in July, there wasn’t a corresponding increase in South Carolina, Virginia, the District of Columbia or Maryland,” The Hill reports.

In addition to limiting most abortions after 12 weeks, SB 20 also:

  • Bans “partial-birth abortion” as defined by federal law, and prohibits abortions that are sought because of the race or sex of the unborn child or a diagnosis of Down Syndrome;
  • Requires abortion clinics to be inspected annually and meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers;
  • Makes it unlawful for abortion-inducing drugs to be provided to a pregnant woman by a physician, drug manufacturer or supplier through the mail;
  • Enacts the “Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act” requiring any health care practitioner present at the time the child is born alive to “exercise the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child as a reasonably diligent and conscientious health care practitioner would render to any other child born alive at the same gestational age.” It also requires that the newborn baby be transported to a nearby hospital for care.

John L. Rustin serves as President of the North Carolina Family Policy Council (NC Family), a Focus-allied state family policy council. In an exclusive statement to the Daily Citizen, Rustin said,

NC Family is extremely grateful for the impact the passage of Senate Bill 20 is having in North Carolina.

We know that the lives of precious unborn babies are being saved and vital resources and services are being provided to women and families facing unplanned and crisis pregnancies.

SB 20 was passed by the North Carolina legislature on May 4, 2023. Gov. Roy Cooper proceeded to veto the bill on May 14. However, both the North Carolina House of Representatives and Senate overrode the governor’s veto on May 16.

In testimony before the House and Senate Rules Committee prior to the passage of SB 20, Rustin stated,

This bill … will save thousands of lives every year; it will provide critical support to women and families facing unplanned and crisis pregnancies; it will help to ensure that women are fully informed about abortion procedures and alternatives to abortion especially with respect to chemical abortions; and it will provide $160 million to improve and support adoption, foster care, childcare, and other vital services.

So far, SB 20 has done just that.

After the law was signed, anti-life groups like Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and a North Carolina abortionist sued to block the law.

On September 30, Judge Catherine Eagles ruled to keep the vast majority of the law intact and in place, though she blocked two provisions that (1) require surgical abortions after 12 weeks be performed only in hospitals and (2) require an ultrasound to confirm an intrauterine pregnancy prior to a chemical abortion.

According to NC Family, both provisions of that law were implemented to protect women who have abortions.

“Proponents of the pro-life bill recognize the importance of both of these provisions for the health and safety of the pregnant woman,” NC Family says, adding:

Being in a hospital for an abortion provides the woman with emergency services, blood products, Operating Room suites and rooms for admitted patients in the event of a surgical abortion crisis. Confirmation of an intrauterine pregnancy is critical before a chemical abortion to verify that the pregnancy is not ectopic – a potentially life-threatening event.

Any appeal of Judge Eagles’ ruling will go to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

We should all be immensely grateful to NC Family, pro-life activists and pro-life legislators in the North Carolina who have worked together to save thousands of preborn babies from abortion.

Please pray that judges will uphold SB 20 upon any appeal that may be filed.

If you are experiencing an unexpected pregnancy and want to learn more about your options, visit My Choice Network.

Focus on the Family offers a free, one-time counseling consultation with a licensed or pastoral counselor. To request a counseling consultation, call 1-855-771-HELP (4357) or fill out our Counseling Consultation Request Form.

Focus on the Family has been working to turn the cultural tide and save mothers and babies from abortion for years. Since beginning the Option Ultrasound Program in 2004, Focus has helped save over half a million lives.

Our goal is to save one million babies by 2025. Just $60 will save a life through Option Ultrasound. Will you partner with us to save a life from abortion here?

Related articles and resources:

My Choice Network

Counseling Consultation & Referrals

I’m Pregnant, Now What?

Dealing With Unplanned Pregnancy

Pro-life Answers to Pro-choice Arguments

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