Since 2011, at least 162 abortion facilities across the nation have either closed completely or stopped performing abortions, while only 21 new abortion facilities have opened. These statistics were compiled by Bloomberg News over the past three months and reported on February 24.
Texas led the nation in the number of abortion facilities closed, with 30, followed by Iowa with 14, Michigan with 13, and California with 12. While the decline in facilities providing abortions is generally attributed to more stringent restriction imposed by new state laws, the decline in California, which besides being the nation’s most populous state is also dominated by Democratic legislators who tend to be favorable to “abortion rights,” goes against this trend, suggesting multiple reasons for the decline.
A report on the closings at LifeNews.com noted other factors responsible, including a decline in the number of doctors willing to perform abortions and a decline in the number of women seeking abortions, resulting in a loss of business and therefore making abortion less profitable.
A report published by LifeNews.com at the end of 2014 cited statistics collected in a survey conducted by Operation Rescue showing that 73 abortion facilities had shut down for all or part of that year. Following those closings, there were 739 abortion clinics remaining in the United States, with 551 of those performing surgical abortions and 188 performing only abortions induced by medication.
The report said while the 73 abortion clinic closures in 2014 were a drop from the record 93 total closures in 2013, the number was still much higher than the 24 closures recorded in 2012.
The Life News report quoted a statement from Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue, one of the nation’s leading pro-life organizations. Said Newman:
We are continuing to witness the implosion of the abortion cartel in America. The only things that are preventing total collapse are court injunctions that are blocking several state abortion safety laws from being enforced. Once those laws clear the courts, we expect to see even more dangerous abortion facilities close. This is great news for women and babies because when abortion clinics close, lives are saved.
The report also noted that the greatest number of closed facilities took place in Texas as the result of the abortion law known as HB2, passed in 2013. During the next year, eleven surgical and three medication-only abortion facilities shut down permanently.
As The New American reported back in 2013, Texas Governor Rick Perry’s signing of HB2 was closely followed by Planned Parenthood's announcement that it would close three of its clinics in the Houston area the very next month. The law bans abortions in Texas after 20 weeks of gestation and requires abortion clinics to be certified ambulatory surgical centers.
The law was challenged and put on hold by a district judge but later reinstated by a federal appeals court. However, challenges to the law have been made in several courts since it was implemented. Last November, the Supreme Court agreed to hear one of those challenges to HB2, but with the death of Justice Antonin Scalia leaving the Court evenly divided with only eight justices, it is possible that any such hearing will be postponed until a new justice is appointed, perhaps not until next year.
State laws have contributed to the closing of abortion facilities in other states, as well. The New American reported in 2013 that Planned Parenthood closed four of its clinics in Wisconsin after the state enacted legislation to defund businesses that perform or refer for abortions.
In Michigan, which saw 13 abortion facilities close last year, authorities had declared that two abortionists were “unfit to practice” medicine.
Another major factor that has reduced the demand (and therefore, the financial rewards) for abortion has been greater education about the nature of abortion, which has caused many women who had previously considered abortion to have a change of heart. Among the voices for the unborn has been Abby Johnson, who quit her job as the director of a Planned Parenthood facility in Bryan, Texas, in October 2009 after witnessing an ultrasound-guided abortion. Johnson was so traumatized by what she saw that she walked across the road to join the Coalition for Life. Two years later, Johnson joined the staff of the national pro-life organization, Live Action, becoming the group’s chief research strategist.
Johnson told her story in her dramatic, firsthand account of the abortion industry, Unplanned: The Dramatic True Story of a Former Planned Parenthood Leader's Eye-Opening Journey Across the Life Line.
While the reduction in the number of abortion facilities in our nation is good news for those who are committed to the right to life for all unborn children, with 739 abortion clinics remaining in the United States, their work still has a long way to go. Short of a reversal of the Supreme Court’s infamous Roe v. Wade decision, which would allow states such as Texas to restrict abortion unimpeded by interference from federal judges, the end of the abortion holocaust is still a long way off.