According to one report, it appears like an increasing number of women are seeking abortion, especially earlier in the pregnancy, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
When the stay-at-home orders were instituted nationwide, people in the pro-life community raised concerns about what this would mean for women who are experiencing an unplanned or, in some cases, planned pregnancy. Though we won’t know the impact that the coronavirus will have on the number of abortions for several years, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Abortion Surveillance report runs a couple years behind, some journalists are reporting that more women are seeking an abortion.
“The calls we’ve been getting are frantic,” Julie Burkhart, who manages abortion clinics in Kansas and Oklahoma, said to USA Today. “We’ve seen more women coming sooner than they would have because they’re scared they won’t be able to access the services later.”
This is deeply concerning. What her statement seems to imply is that women who, in other circumstances, may have taken some time and considered raising their child or giving their child up for adoption are now rushing to get an abortion earlier in the pregnancy for fear of what the future may hold when it comes to COVID-19.
Women are also crossing state lines in greater numbers in order to get an abortion after states like Texas banned the procedure (Texas has now reversed its ban). One woman flew to Georgia just to get the abortion pill, and another drove to Colorado in order to access the procedure. In New York, an EMT was given the abortion pill while in the back of her ambulance. Another NYC patient decided to terminate her pregnancy because she had a condition that would require her to spend more time in the hospital. To avoid risk of exposure to COVID-19, she decided to get an abortion rather than have her child.
Some abortion clinics shared some fairly sobering statistics. An Illinois clinic reported that usually only about 50% of those scheduled to have an abortion go through with it and that number has now jumped to 85%. At a clinic in Wichita, the abortion clinic saw the number of women seeking abortion go from 90 in March 2019 to 252 in March 2020. That’s an increase of 180%.
According to Attorney Jill E. Adams, executive director of If/When/How, stated, “More people will need abortions during this pandemic. Targeting people who end their pregnancies at home is wrong as a matter of law and dangerous as a matter of public health.”
The uncertainty of the future means that some women aren’t even considering their options. While there have been reports that some women are immensely encouraged by the crisis to see the value of life, others just see chaos.
For pro-life Americans, this is a call to prayer.