November 6, 2023

National Right to Life Analyses Pro-Abortion "We Count" Report

National Right to Life Director of Education & Research Randall K. O'Bannon released an analysis of the pro-abortion "We Count" report released by the Society for Family Planning (SFP) last month.

The report, which was featured in the New York Times, suggested that pro-life state laws were not decreasing the number of abortions. The data presented in the "We Count" study suggested that any decreases in abortion in states with pro-life laws were offset by increases in pro-abortion states. With this data, SFP argued that pro-life laws don't work. Women would just travel out of state to have abortions.

O'Bannon's analysis pointed out several issues with the study.

1. States without laws protecting the unborn often make an effort to promote abortion. They spend time and money advertising to women in pro-abortion states hoping that they will become "abortion tourists."

2. Early data suggests that births increase when states enforce laws protecting unborn children.

3. Pro-abortion advocacy groups created abortion travel funds in response to the Dobbs. v. Jackson decision. These funds allow pro-abortion organizations to act as travel agents for women traveling out of state for abortions. These organizations schedule abortions with abortion businesses in other states and pay the travel costs.

The money in these funds was largely fundraised from pro-abortion advocates immediately after the Dobbs v. Jackson decision, and it might not be a sustainable model in the long term.

4. SFP is a pro-abortion organization, not a neutral observer. It has an incentive to present the abortion industry in a favorable light to investors. More abortions mean more "sales." When SFP estimated the number of abortions from clinics that did not report (something it openly admitted to doing), it may have inflated those numbers to its own benefit.