According to a new analysis by the The, 26 abortion clinics have closed since Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court. Guttmacher Institute,Access to abortion and critical health services is being cut off. Researchers say that the number and severity of clinic closures will increase as abortion bans continue to be in effect.
The analysis focused on states that have enforced total or six-week abortion bans. As of October 2 — the 100-day mark since Roe’s overturn — 66 clinics had stopped providing abortions, according to the report, including some in states where abortion is still legal. Previously, 79 clinics offered an abortion in the 15 states examined; now, only 13 do.
Dozens of the clinic closings were in Texas where abortion is almost illegal and which enforced laws. banning abortions after six weekspregnant months before the court undid Roe.
The abortion clinics that remain open — even if they aren’t providing abortions — still offer an array of reproductive services such as contraception, testing for sexually transmitted infections and gender-affirming care. These services will be harder for patients to access as more clinics close.
“People in these communities are obviously losing access to abortion care, but they are losing access to other kinds of reproductive health care as well,” said Rachel Jones, a principal research scientist at Guttmacher and one of the authors behind the analysis.
Data suggests that more people are seeking abortions and this is why services are being lost. A June surveyGuttmacher discovered that 1 in 5 pregnancies in 2020 ended in abortion. This is the first increase in 30 year.
In Ohio and Indiana, courts have blocked the states’ respective six-week and near-total abortion bans. Utah and Wyoming continue to block near-total abortion bans. Six-week bans have not been allowed to take effect by South Carolina and Iowa state courts.
All of these cases are being litigated.
In the meantime, legislators in other states could push for more severe restrictions. The governor of Nebraska tried to call back the legislature to approve an abortion ban, but it was not passed. fell three The number of votes required to pass a 12-week ban on abortion is very low. Florida currently prohibits abortion for women after 15 weeks. However, the legislature will likely debate a more severe ban in the next year.
Jones stated that if individual states are able to enforce abortion bans, it would likely lead to more clinics closing down.
“The number of clinics providing abortion care will get lower,” she said. “The number of clinics that will have to shutter completely is going to increase.”
One clinic in Arizona has closed even though the state’s total abortion ban, which was passed in 1864, only took effect September 23. The ban is still being challenged in the courts.
Jones stated that this immediacy shows that even if abortion bans eventually get overturned, the impact on abortion access could still be significant.
History supports this. Texas passed a law that placed major restrictions on abortion clinics in 2013. many closed permanently. Even though the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the law, providers who operate on a limited budget were not able to take advantage of the relief.
“It’s not just a matter of, ‘Oh, we’ll just close our doors because there’s an abortion ban and we can reopen overnight if the ban is lifted,’” Jones said. “All this off and on is very difficult for clinics to operate. They can’t afford to keep staff on hand.”