Abortion: Clinics in 14 out of 15 states have stopped providing services, a survey has found
It has been 100 days since the US Supreme Court ruled Roe v. Wade and removed constitutional protections for access to abortion. Many states immediately banned the procedure.
A new survey by the Guttmacher Institute, a nonprofit reproductive health organization, shows the momentous nature of the June 24 decision.
The survey found that among 15 states that enforced either full or near-complete abortion bans between the decision and Oct. 2, nearly two-thirds of clinics that once offered abortion treatments — 66 out of 79 — were forced to stop offering abortion services.
A third of the clinics, 26, have closed completely. Another 40 are still open and offer other services, e.g. Such as prescribing birth control, conducting routine health screenings for women, or arranging out-of-state appointments for people who now need to travel to obtain an abortion.
The closures are not evenly distributed. All 13 clinics in the survey that are still open and performing abortions are in Georgia, a state that now only allows procedures up to the sixth week of pregnancy.
That means 14 of the 15 states have no providers offering abortions, says Rachel Jones, research director at Guttmacher.
“That’s a lot of people who need abortion treatment and if they can try to go out of state to get it, but a lot of them won’t be able to,” she said.
Collectively, these 15 states are home to 22 million women of childbearing age and others who may not identify as female but can become pregnant and may require an abortion.
According to the report, this means that nearly 30% of all US women of childbearing age live in states where abortion is not available or severely restricted.
According to the report, these states accounted for nearly 126,000 abortions in 2020. Nearly 42,000 more procedures were carried out in Georgia this year.
The 15 states included in the survey are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Two other states that have implemented abortion restrictions — Indiana and Ohio — were not included in the poll after a court case temporarily suspended their bans.
A variety of other states have not restricted or banned abortion, but are expected to do so.
“Guttmacher expects that in the end as many as 26 states will ban abortion. So I can say with confidence that unfortunately it’s only going to get worse,” Jones said.
The effects of these closures are being felt well beyond those 15 states. States where abortion is still legal have seen a large influx of people traveling to receive the procedure. This has increased pressure on clinics in so-called safe harbor states, where waiting lists are getting longer.
Abortions are generally safe procedures, but the longer an abortion is delayed, the greater the risk to patients. Delays can also increase the cost of the process. Lack of access to abortion also has a significant impact on a woman’s mental health, according to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.