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Abortions Surged in States Near Those With New Bans: Study

Estimated change in the number of abortions provided by the formal health care system

States geographically near ones that banned abortion after Roe v. Wade was overturned saw sharp increases in the number of procedures performed, likely due to an influx of border-hopping patients, according to a new analysis from the Guttmacher Institute.

Why it matters: Patients are proving highly motivated to travel to get the care they need in the face of state bans, according to Guttmacher, a research organization that supports abortion rights. But for some, that involves overcoming logistical and financial challenges.

What they found: Major increases in abortion were found in states that protect access to the procedure and are near states where it’s banned, based on a comparison of 2020 and 2023 data. (Roe was overturned in June 2022.)

  • Colorado saw an 89% increase over the three-year period, equivalent to 5,990 abortions.
  • Illinois had a 69% jump, an increase of 18,300 abortions.
  • South Carolina had a 124% increase, or 3,270 more abortions from 2020. However, the state adopted a six-week abortion ban that took effect last month.
  • Other sharp increases were logged in Washington and New Mexico.

Between the lines: Abortion had been rising nationally before the Supreme Court struck down federal protection of the procedure, increasing 8% between 2017 and 2020. Guttmacher noted some data suggest that the increase continued into 2022.

  • The likelihood of more bans or restrictions on interstate travel will create larger regional clusters of states with bans and increase the likelihood that patients will have to cross multiple state lines to get care, Guttmacher said.
  • Virginia is the only southern state that hasn’t banned or restricted abortion since the fall of Roe — and the issue will loom over the state’s closely watched legislature elections this fall.
  • 14 states with outright bans or legal uncertainty that forced providers to stop performing the procedure in the first half of this year accounted for more than 113,000 abortions in 2020, or about 12% of all U.S. abortions that year, Guttmacher said.

Source : AXIOS