Now that a year has passed since women lost the right to abortion, we can assess how our neighbor Idaho’s near-total ban on it is faring.
In short: It has accomplished next to nothing.
You can’t say categorically that the Idaho ban hasn’t stopped a single abortion. But the data suggests that is essentially the case – that the whole thing is a burden, cost and danger to Idaho’s own women, but hasn’t met the anti-abortion goals that supposedly informed it.
We know this now because clinics in the Pacific Northwest have started releasing data on where women come from to use their services, both back when abortion was legal nationwide, and now that it’s not.
Idaho women are simply fleeing.
Bans didn’t stop alcohol consumption, minors from getting tobacco, or other recreational drug use. They didn’t stop criminals from getting handguns. And it should be no surprise it didn’t stop abortions. Just as there were abortions when they were banned prior to Roe v. Wade. I knew a high school classmate who traveled from Idaho to Washington get an abortion. And women are doing it again.
Reduction and even elimination of abortions is a worthy goal. But I can’t see the legal system making a significant change in the total numbers. It has to be cultural change.
Legal bans only work when you have an adversary party involved which has the ability to support the legal action.*
* In the case of murder you have friend, relatives, and dedicated detectives to “speak” for the victim. The aborted fetus/child is unable to speak for itself and without a dependable voice from those who know what happened.