The reality is we have no idea how many abortions are actually performed each year in this country. States are asked to provide these numbers to the federal government, but they are not required to do so. Which allows states like California and Maryland to intentionally withhold this data.
Meanwhile, these states have no problem using federal tax dollars for family planning services. (There's a special provision in Medicaid that provides family planning funds to states, and those dollars can even be used by those who are not otherwise eligible for Medicaid.)
Here's the thing: the term "family planning" has largely been hijacked to mean "abortion services." But the true purpose of any family planning program is to promote heath, and to help parents manage the number and spacing of their children. PROACTIVELY – before pregnancy occurs. Abortion is NOT family planning. In other words, if a pregnancy results in a voluntarily abortion, this means that legitimate family planning either failed in its objective, or failed to take place to begin with.
Your tax dollars are paying for these programs. So how can we possibly know how effective these family planning programs are without data? If these programs are effective, then we should see states' abortion rates either low or trending downward. Otherwise we're just wasting money.
So on Monday, I reintroduced a bill in Congress called the Ensuring Accurate and Complete Abortion Data Reporting Act of 2023, and would compel states to report both the number of abortions as well as the number of infants born alive after an abortion attempt. States that continue to withhold this information would see their funding for family planning services withheld.
This is a carefully crafted piece of legislation that does not affect states' funding for other Medicaid services. It only compels states to provide the abortion data they already have, so that Congress and the nation can know exactly how effective these family planning programs have been.