Analysis

Report: One third of independent abortion facilities have closed since 2012

abortion clinic closed, Planned Parenthood, abortion facilities

A new report on the state of “independent abortion clinics” published by the Abortion Care Network (ACN) reveals yet again that “independent clinics are closing at an unprecedented rate.” ACN, which celebrates abortionbegan operating July 2008 and was founded by leaders from the National Coalition of Abortion Providers (NCAP) and Abortion Conversation Project (ACP). The reports states that while 39 “independent abortion clinics” (IACs) closed in the past few years, IACs have been reduced 32 percent since 2012.

Image: Abortion Care Network 2017 clinics decline 32 percent 2019 (Image: ACN)

Abortion Care Network 2017 clinics decline 32 percent 2019 (Image: ACN)

Independent abortion facilities (IACs) make up:

  • 25% of facilities that offer abortion.
  • 58% of total abortions.
  • 14% of IACs provide abortion pill only.
  • 83% of IACs provide abortion pill and in-clinic surgical procedures.
  • 94% of IACs offer abortion at or beyond 22 weeks of pregnancy
  • 63% of all U.S. clinics (including Planned Parenthood) provide both abortion pill and surgical abortions.

Nationally, abortions are declining, dropping 19% from 1,058,000 abortions in 2011 to 862,320 reported in 2017. Over 20 million abortions have taken place within the United States since 2000. According to the data, between 2000 and 2017, a total of 20,057,120 abortions were reported to the Guttmacher Institute. Over one quarter (26%) of all the abortion procedures (5,281,838) committed in those 18 years were committed by taxpayer-funded Planned Parenthood.

Image: Abortion and Planned Parenthood totals and MktShare 2000 to 2017 (Image: Live Action News)

Abortion and Planned Parenthood totals and MktShare 2000 to 2017 (Image: Live Action News)

Since 2012, ACN claims they collected data “on every abortion clinic in the United States that makes abortion care services publicly available or otherwise discloses that they provide abortion care.” ACN states they then comb through public search engines to locate abortion providers and contact each one.

According to ACN:

  • Currently, six states have only one abortion clinic remaining.
  • Since 2012, IACs declined from 510 to 344 in 2019.
  • While a handful of facilities have opened, ACN reports, “the total number of independent clinics… decreased by over 32 percent since 2012.”
  • Since 2014, ACN identified 136 independent abortion facility closures.
  • Between 2018 and 2019, 39 independent abortion facilities (IACs) closed.

IAC closures by year (ACN):

  • 23 IACs closed in 2014
  • 34 IACs closed in 2015
  • 22 IACs closed in 2016
  • 17 IACs closed in 2017
  • 13 IACs closed in 2018
  • 26 IACs closed in 2019

“A clinic is considered closed if a) the clinic or practice closed entirely, or b) if the clinic or practice remains open but no longer provides abortion care services. Closures are confirmed by phone and publicly available reports,” ACN noted.

Image: Independent abortion clinic closures 2014 to 2019 per ACN (Image: Abortion Care Network 2019)

Independent abortion clinic closures 2014 to 2019 per ACN (Image: Abortion Care Network 2019)

Live Action News previously cited a Guttmacher total of 808 “abortion clinics” in 2017 noting that “between 2011 and 2014, the number of clinics providing abortions had declined by 6%.” According to the report, of the 789 abortion facility providers in 2014, “127 had not been providing this care in 2014,” and “103 had stopped doing so or had closed by 2017.”

Image: Guttmacher 2017 abortion facility numbers per Live Action News report

Guttmacher 2017 abortion facility numbers per Live Action News report

State Legislation:

According to ACN, “[O]ver 250 abortion restrictions were introduced. Dozens of states passed abortion restrictions, with several states passing near-total abortion bans that are currently being challenged in the court system,” adding, “Between January and June 2019, 58 abortion restrictions were enacted in 19 states.”

Heartbeat bills/early abortion bans:

  • 6 weeks: Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana Mississippi, and Ohio
  • 8 weeks: Missouri
  • Total Ban: Alabama

Race, Sex, Disability: 

  • Ban if preborn child has or may have Down syndrome: Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Utah
  • Ban based on race or predicted sex: Kentucky and Missouri

Other:

  • Abortion reversal laws passed in Kentucky, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Oklahoma.
  • Ban on gruesome dismemberment abortion procedure known as dilation and evacuation (D&E): Indiana and North Dakota

 

States expanding abortion:

  • New York passed the Reproductive Health Act (RHA).
  • Illinois passed the RHA.
  • Rhode Island passed the Reproductive Privacy Act codifying Roe v. Wade.
  • Vermont passed the Freedom of Choice Act.
  • Nevada passed the Trust Nevada Women Act.
  • Maine passed a law allowing physician assistants and advanced practice nurses to provide abortions and a law requiring Medicaid and private health insurance plans to cover abortion.
  • California passed the College Student Right to Access Act.
  • Austin, Texas, and New York City allocated $150,000 and $250,000, respectively, to abortion access.

ACN holds annual meetings where the abortion pill manufacturer, DANCO Laboratories, and Guttmacher have been listed as exhibitors. In fact, DANCO was listed as a sponsor:

Image: Abortion Care Network 2017 exhibitors includes Danco and Doterra

Abortion Care Network 2017 exhibitors includes DANCO and Doterra

Image: Danco listed as Abortion Care Network event sponsor (Image: ACN 2017)

DANCO listed as Abortion Care Network event sponsor (Image: ACN 2017)

Competition for abortion clients is tough, so like Planned Parenthood, ACN has created a Clinic Finder to direct women/girls to their over 100 independent clinic members nationwide. In addition, ACN points supporters to Ineedana.comdescribed by ACN as the “most comprehensive, accurate listing of US abortion clinics we’ve seen thus far,” because it lists Abortion Care Network and National Abortion Federation member facilities, as well as Planned Parenthood centers.

Image: ACN Independent abortion clinics provide 58 percent of abortions in USA (Image: Abortion Care Network)

ACN Independent abortion clinics provide 58 percent of abortions in USA (Image: Abortion Care Network)

Discord between Planned Parenthood and Independent Abortion Facilities:

According to ACN — which boasts several ally organizations, some directly funded by DANCO — independent abortion facilities make up 25 percent of facilities offering abortion and collectively provide 58 percent of all abortions. The largest provider of abortions in the U.S. is Planned Parenthood, and as Live Action News previously documented, despite the declining numbers, Planned Parenthood’s market share of abortions has steadily climbed from 31.5% in 2011 to roughly 35% in 2014 to nearly 39% (38.5%) in 2017. That translates into a lot of money, with Planned Parenthood’s estimated abortion revenue totaling $190 million in just 2017. This might explain a recent report by the New York Times indicating growing dissension, discord, and a fragmented abortion landscape among providers — and specifically between ICAs and Planned Parenthood:

“[I]nterviews with more than 50 reproductive rights leaders, clinic directors, political strategists and activists over the past three months reveal a fragmented movement facing longstanding divisions — cultural, financial and political. Many said that abortion rights advocates and leading reproductive rights groups had made several crucial miscalculations that have put them on the defensive…Discord at Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest and most influential abortion provider, exacerbated the problem. In July the group’s new president, Dr. Leana Wen, was forced out in a messy departure highlighting deep internal division over her management style and how much emphasis to place on the political fight for abortion rights…Amid the high political maneuvering, there are fundamental internal divisions that the abortion rights movement has not resolved, especially between Planned Parenthood and the independent clinics that perform most abortion procedures…

“…This has led to close alignment with the Democratic Party. In recent years, Planned Parenthood has become one of the biggest sources of volunteer power for Democratic campaigns. In 2018, the group’s political arm gave more than $1.1 million to Democrats and just $5,735 to Republicans, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics.”

Prayerful presence outside abortion facilities, along with pro-life legislation is being credited for many clinic closures. Data provided by Guttmacher reveals that, in 2017, 89% of U.S. counties did not have a facility that provided abortions.

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