Last Tuesday, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) signed the Reproductive Health Equity Act, which requires health insurance companies to provide access to birth control and abortion services without charging a co-pay.

The same day, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed a bill requiring women to pay a separate insurance premium if they want to be covered for non-medical emergency abortions.

The abortion debate continues to dominate our state legislatures and headlines, given how split Americans are on this issue. Should it be legal? How much influence can religious and ethical beliefs play into politics?

We decided that it’s time to let the numbers and facts do more of the talking.

Values and beliefs

“3 in 10 Americans have the combination of attitudes that is our primary focus: viewing abortion as morally wrong but at the same time believing it should remain legal (at least in some circumstances).” — Lydia Saad, Gallup

From a June 2017 Gallup poll:

Find out more about abortion, based on ideology here.

Abortion rate between 1973 and 2013

Why the decline?

A 2014 report from Guttmacher Institute, a center that promotes access to safe abortion services, suggests that the rise in reversible, long-term contraceptive use, like IUDS and other implants, is responsible for the drop in abortion rates.

Charlotte Lozier Institute, an antiabortion think tank, credits the decline to stricter state abortion laws and an attitude shift regarding unexpected pregnancy.

How much does an abortion cost?

First trimester:

Women can choose between a surgical or medication abortion, also known as an abortion pill or mifepristone. Women in America use medication almost as often as surgical abortion now.

Second trimester:

Fees go up in the second trimester. Generally, surgical (also known as aspiration) abortion is the only choice.

Learn about the cost of abortions here.

When are most abortions performed?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest numbers from 2013, 91.6 percent of abortions were performed during the first trimester.

Who is getting an abortion?


It’s up to each state to regulate abortion. Here’s why:

The Hyde Amendment

Since 1976, the Hyde Amendment bars the use of federal funds for abortion services, except under these circumstances: 1) When the pregnancy endangers a woman’s life 2) When the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest.

What this means:

Medicaid, jointly funded by federal government and states, cannot cover an abortion unless it’s a situation of rape, incest or life endangerment.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA)

The ACA, signed into law on March 23, 2010, reinforces the Hyde Amendment.

“Under Obamacare, health insurance plans could cover some or all elective abortions, but they can’t use federal tax credits and subsidies to offset the cost,” writes The Washington Post.

States are also neither explicitly required nor prohibited from covering abortion.

Planned Parenthood

On July 26, 2017, the Senate rejected a Republican proposal to undo parts of the ACA, which would have defunded Planned Parenthood — the largest abortion provider in the United States.

The GOP’s failed “skinny repeal” hasn’t deterred states like Texas and Arkansas from trying to limit the scope of Planned Parenthood on their own.

A sampling of state policy

We compiled these lists with the help of Guttmacher Institute’s state policy expert Elizabeth Nash:

→ For example, California’s Assembly Bill 154 expands the number of abortion providers in the state to the following: nurse practitioners, midwives and physician assistants to perform surgical abortions in the first trimester.

→ For instance, Mississippi is one of the few states that limits abortion providers to board-certified obstetrician-gynecologists.

For more about states and their abortion laws, go here.

What happens to Roe v. Wade without Ruth Bader Ginsburg?

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Friday at age 87

Biden took credit for putting RBG, Kagan and Sotomayor on the Supreme Court. But he left out Clarence Thomas.

It struck many viewers as tone-deaf

The Supreme Court will review the ruling on a restrictive Louisiana abortion law

Clinic owners said the effect of the law would be to close most of the state’s abortion clinics, leaving only one doctor eligible to perform the procedure