Massachusetts Saw Significant Drop In Abortions In 2020

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Abortions dropped by more than 11 percent in 2020 over the previous year, newly obtained figures show.

NewBostonPost filed a public records request to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to see how many abortions took place in the Commonwealth in 2019 and 2020. While there were 18,593 abortions in the Commonwealth in 2019, there were 16,452 in 2020 — a reduction of about 11.5 percent.

There was a steep decline in surgical procedures of all kinds in the United States in 2020, according to researchers at Stanford University. While they didn’t calculate the entire 2020 total, the Stanford researchers noted that during the seven weeks after mid-March 2020 when the United States had its strictest coronavirus restrictions on daily life in place, there was a 48 percent decline in surgical procedures.

Kristen Day, executive director of Democrats for Life of America, told NewBostonPost that the decrease in abortions in Massachusetts is good news regardless of whether someone thinks abortion should be legal or illegal.

“Americans on both sides of the abortion debate should be encouraged by the decrease in the number of abortions in Massachusetts,” Day wrote in an email message. “With the real possibility that Roe could be overturned, we should seek ways to further this positive trend.  We urge advocates on both sides of the abortion debate to come together around support for alternatives to abortion including programs like Pennsylvania’s Real Alternatives founded by Democratic Governor Bob Casey Sr..”

The Real Alternatives program that Day mentioned provides public funding to crisis pregnancy centers. It receives about $7.263 million per year from the state, according to its web site.

Massachusetts does not have an equivalent program. However, Massachusetts is one of 16 states that uses taxpayer dollars to fund elective abortions.

It’s unclear how many abortions have taken place in the Commonwealth this year. State public health officials typically don’t provide the number of abortions for a particular year until the fall of the following year.

NewBostonPost on Friday contacted Planned Parenthood, Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, National Abortion Federation, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and Reproductive Equity Now about the decrease. None could immediately be reached for comment.


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