From the SFLA Blog

VICTORY: New Study Shows 32,000 Lives Saved Post-Roe in States with Heartbeat or Better Protections 

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Caroline Wharton - 28 Nov 2023

Why do Students for Life of America (SFLA) and Students for Life Action (SFLAction) insist on supporting strong legal protections of Heartbeat or Better for the preborn? Two words: they work. Don’t believe it? Consider the findings then of a newly released study which shows that more than 30,000 lives were saved after the reversal of Roe v. Wade in states with such protections. It’s data like this that proves our hard fight is worth it. Here’s what you need to know about the study:  

After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a data dump on the eve of Thanksgiving (click HERE to read our statement), the Institute of Labor Economics (ILE) provided insightful analysis on how many lives were saved post-Roe. Their conclusions are heartwarming as the paper stated:  

 “Our primary analysis indicates that in the first six months of 2023, births rose by an average of 2.3 percent in states enforcing total abortion bans compared to a control group of states where abortion rights remained protected, amounting to approximately 32,000 additional annual births resulting from abortion bans.” 

How did that number come about? 

First, ILE researchers grouped states into three categories in order to examine the effects of pro-life policy. Depending upon individual post-Roe abortion legislation, states were put into either the “Total Ban” group (these restricted abortion almost entirely by the end of 2022), the “Protected” group (these had no additional enactments or enforcements against abortion since Dobbs) and the “Excluded States” (these don’t come into play during the study due to various reasons).  

Once grouped, researchers compared the birth rates of the “Total Ban” states to the “Protected” states from January 2023 to June 2023 and found that many lives were saved in the pro-life states included in the former group.  

With such success under our belts after the reversal of Roe and many in the pro-life movement wondering where to go next, it’s worthwhile to examine the laws of these 13 states (including Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin) which resulted in thousands of children being saved. 

And guess what you’ll find if you put a magnifying glass to this research? The researchers show in their paper that the legislation in every single one of these states was Heartbeat or Better, with many having Life at Conception laws. Clearly, these policies work, both in practice for the purpose of saving preborn babies and politically.  

That’s why many in the abortion lobby are bemoaning these findings and acting as though they’re tragic instead of triumphant. SFLA President Kristan Hawkins spoke out against such sentiments, telling the New York Times

“The insinuation of a lot of coverage of such data points is that it’s a bad thing for there to be more children welcomed in states with better laws than in states that fast-track abortion. It’s a triumph that pro-life policies result in lives saved.” 

With clear data showing that our fight for quality protection is worth it, SFLA and SFLAction will not back down from demanding authentic pro-life policies. It’s a lot of work to get any piece of legislation passed so we might as well make sure it’s a good one — and as this analysis shows, Heartbeat or Better Protections are certainly that.  

READ NEXT: FACT CHECK: Abortion Does Occur in the Second & Third Trimester 

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