Iowa state Rep. Greg Heartsill do headlines last week for analysis Dr. Seuss" "Horton Hears a Who!" throughout an impassioned decided from the home floor in assistance of a so-called "Personhood Amendment" to the state constitution.

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Before his dramatic reading and political translate of the children"s book, Heartsill, R-Chariton, offered one clear, verifiable fact. He stated 50 million abortions have actually been carry out in the unified States because 1973, when the U.S. Supreme Court"s Roe v. Go decision make the procedure legal.

We rate this statement TRUE.

Data from the Guttmacher institute — a research company that supports legal accessibility to abortion — does indeed show more than 50 million abortions were performed in between 1973 and 2011. Those findings room peer-reviewed and have been cited by proponents and also opponents the legal accessibility to abortion alike.

Figures compiled through the federal government over the same duration show much less than 50 million, but are lacking data indigenous several claims over numerous years.


Here"s precisely what Heartsill said in his Feb. 26 allude of an individual privilege ~ above the house floor:

"This morning I along with 10 various other colleagues have introduced residence Joint Resolution 9. That is a resolution that proposes an amendment come the Iowa constitution which would recognize and protect the inalienable best to life that every human in our good state regardless of where they space in their state the development.

"It is a right that has been refuse to well over 50 million americans — citizen — because 1973."

When asked come clarify what he intended by 50 million Americans whose "right come life" has been "denied," Heartsill said he was referencing the number of abortion measures performed since the Roe v. Walking ruling. That"s what we"re fact-checking here.

That big-picture number — an ext than 50 million abortions performed because 1973 — is a frequent talking suggest for adversaries of abortion. However unlike other rhetorical clues in the political battle over abortion, it"s not contested by supporters of legitimate access, and in fact is based on data developed by an organization that supports abortion.


The Guttmacher Institute estimates that 52.6 million abortions were performed in between 1973 and also 2011, the most recent year for which data is available. The number to be certainly higher as that Feb. 26, 2015, once Heartsill made his remarks.

The number is based upon data accumulated over several years and also recorded in two academic papers: "Abortion Incidence and access to services in the unified States, 2008," released in 2011, and also "Abortion Incidence and also Service ease of access in the joined States, 2011," released in 2014. Both appeared in Perspectives on Sexual and also Reproductive Health, a peer-reviewed journal published by the Guttmacher Institute.

The data was attracted from surveys that health treatment facilities starting in 1973 "known or expected to have noted abortion services," although for 13 years researchers relied on approximates formed by interpolating "numbers that abortions and also adjustments based upon state health department reports."

The commonwealth Centers for an illness Control collects comparable data and also publishes an annual "Abortion Surveillance" report. Data indigenous the 2002 edition and also the many recent 2014 edition show 42 million abortions performed in between 1973 and 2011, but comes through a California-sized caveat.

Several states have actually gone year without offering data because that the CDC report, including California — the most populous in the country — i beg your pardon hasn"t reported abortion figures since 1998.

A spokesman for the California room of Public health told the it is registered this main the state has actually no data on the total variety of abortions performed annually. With 38.8 million people, according to 2014 census data, California represents 12 percent that the U.S. Population.

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New Hampshire hasn"t reported data since 1998 either, if Maryland, Oklahoma, Alaska, West Virginia, Louisiana and Delaware also have failed come report in at least one year because then.