A new report by a pro-choice organization has drawn opposite reactions along the abortion divide by showing that dozens of independent abortion clinics have closed in the past five years.
The 18-page report by the Abortion Care Network says 127 independent abortion clinics have closed since 2015, including at least 14 this year and 27 in 2019. The Network is an association of independent, community-based abortion providers.
Nearly three-fifths (58 percent) of abortions in the U.S. are performed by independent abortion clinics, according to the report. Planned Parenthood performs 37 percent of the nation’s abortions, the report says.
Since 2012, the number of independent abortion clinics has fallen 34 percent – from 510 to 337 today.
Time reported on the news under the headline, “Abortion Clinics Are Rapidly Closing. Many Won't Come Back.”
Forty-one independent clinics have closed in the past two years. Of those, 76 percent perform abortions after the first trimester.
Independent clinics are a major source of late-term abortions: 81 percent of U.S. clinics that provide abortions after 22 weeks are independent clinics.
The report blamed the closures on two reasons: finances and pro-life laws that restrict abortions.
“Medically unnecessary abortion restrictions and financial barriers make it challenging for many clinics to keep their doors open at all,” the report said. “These challenges increase for clinics that provide care as pregnancy progresses, making them more vulnerable to closing. This, in turn threatens to make already-scarce abortion care beyond the first trimester increasingly difficult to access.”
But pro-lifers on social media celebrated the news.
“Life. Is. Winning. & we're here for it!” Students for Life tweeted with a link to the Time story.
Life. Is. Winning.— studentsforlife (@StudentsforLife) December 3, 2020
& we're here for it! https://t.co/LC2wyyuwmZ
Michael New, a professor at the Catholic University of America, said the Time story ignored an “important reason” behind the abortion clinic closures.
“Since 2012, the U.S. abortion rate has fallen by over 13 percent. Fewer abortions --> Fewer abortion facilities,” he tweeted.
Photo courtesy: Arseny Togulev/Unsplash
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.