It's far from conclusive, but there's growing evidence that the Affordable Care Act could lead to a significant reduction in the number of abortions performed in the United States. (If true, it also follows that repealing the Affordable Care Act would result in more, not fewer, abortions than leaving the law in place.)Writing for The Atlantic, Brian Fung reports, "As the number of insured has gone up in Massachusetts, new state data show a corresponding decline in the number of abortions performed there since 2006." Since passage of "Romneycare", Massachusetts' abortion rate has dropped 17%.Fung hastens to add, "it's possible that the decline in the abortion rate had nothing to do with Romneycare", noting that Massachusetts' abortion rate has declined steadily since 1991.Nonetheless, researchers think there's a link. Fung quotes Dr. Patrick Whelan, who first identified the trend as saying, "When women have more stable access to medical care, they're more likely to see doctors, they're more likely to have somebody inquiring about their sexual health. The fact that you have somebody who cares about you results in people being healthier, and that includes not getting pregnant if they don't want to be."
Luke Hill is a writer and community organizer in Boston. He blogs at dotCommonweal and MassCommons.