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New study says abortions have more than tripled in New Mexico

Wikimedia Commons via CC

New data confirms what New Mexico abortion providers already know too well – the number of abortions performed here has more than tripled since Roe v. Wade was overturned and neighboring states enacted abortion bans. Providers in the state are staffing up to meet the need.

The Guttmacher Institute is a research and policy organization that has collected data on abortion services since Roe v. Wade was enacted. Its latest study says that abortions have gone up 220% in New Mexico since 2020.

Principal Research Scientist Rachel Jones said that while the data can be complicated to gather, there hasn’t been much policy change this year that would affect abortion numbers.

“For better or worse, I mean, I guess I would say at this point for better, the first six months of 2023 were pretty stable,” she said.

University of New Mexico Department of Ob-Gyn Chair Dr. Eve Espey said seeing the giant increase from 2020 on paper helps providers in the state plan for the future.

“It's the magnitude of the increase that I think is really helpful for us because it does validate that we have had to make major adjustments in order to be able to accommodate the volume,” she said.

Espey said the number of providers is still increasing, though it is difficult to recruit quickly enough to keep up with need. She also said the job is changing not only with the higher volume of patients in general, but also higher numbers of second trimester patients. But, she said they are feeling the leveling off in the data this year, too.

“It's gotten a little bit easier than that initial period of time when it was just so overwhelming to have so many more patients,” she said.

Rachel Jones with the Guttmacher Institute said future reports will contain more data on how many patients come from out of state.

This coverage is made possible by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and KUNM listeners.

This story has been corrected to reflect the number of abortions actually tripled.

Megan Myscofski was a reporter with KUNM's Poverty and Public Health Project.
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