Roe’s overturning could mean that women looking for an abortion have to travel hundreds of miles

The repeal of Roe v. Wade – and the flood of abortion restrictions that such a ruling would cause – affects the distance women would have to travel to the nearest clinic. to a new report released this week by the Guttmacher Institute. The Institute, which supports abortion rights, used data from the U.S. Census Bureau to estimate the number of women of childbearing age living in each census block, and calculated driving distance to the nearest abortion clinic.

Illinois, North Carolina, and California are among the states that could experience the biggest jump in abortion patients outside the state, as their clinics would be closest to women whose own states are in a position to quickly ban the procedure, according to Guttmacher’s analysis.

In states such as Louisiana, Texas and Idaho, women would see that the distance they would have to travel to the nearest clinic would increase tenfold or more if Roe v. Wade were repealed and abortion bans came into force in states , which would most likely be implemented. him.

The new data is released as the Supreme Court hears two major abortion cases. One example, quarrels on Monday, concerns a six-week ban on abortion in Texas that bans abortion after fetal heart activity. The law seems to run counter to the constitutional protection for abortions against survival – a point usually around 23 weeks of pregnancy – that the Supreme Court wrote in its 1973 Roe ruling.
The law has already given a preview of what access to abortion would be like if other countries were allowed to impose extreme restrictions on the procedure or a definitive ban. Clinics in Oklahoma and Kansas report a large increase in the number of patients in Texas, causing delays in residents in their states to get appointments while Texas women traveled so far Colorado in California to obtain the procedure, in accordance with court files In the case of.

In December, the Supreme Court will hear another Mississippi-based case challenging a 15-week ban on abortion.

In both cases, the state is requesting that the Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade, although judges in the Texas dispute have indicated they will not focus on the issue. It is also possible for the court to decide cases in a way that does not overturn Roe, but weakens his precedent, which allows for more aggressive abortion restrictions, but in some cases still retains abortion rights.

Should Roe be set aside for good, The Guttmacher Institute predicts there will be 26 states they are certain or likely to ban abortion almost immediately. A dozen of these states have so-called trigger laws, where a ban on abortion would be triggered by overturning Roe’s Supreme Court. Sixteen countries have extreme abortion restrictions – such as almost complete bans in Arkansas in Alabama, or a six – week ban in Idaho,, Kentucky in Tennessee – which are in the books but are not enforced due to lower court orders referring to Roe v. Wade.

Nine countries have banned abortion before the Roe decision is made, and another five, Guttmacher predicts, will quickly pass new laws banning abortion, given their countries ’recent trend under restrictive laws and their political composition.

“In countries with bans before Roe, there is a possibility that those bans before Roe will take effect if Roe is repealed,” Elizabeth Nash, senior state affairs chief at Guttmacher, told CNN.

Referring to five countries her organization believes are likely to pass new abortion bans after the Roe reversal, Nash said, “these are all countries that have a recent history of restricting access to abortion and ongoing debates in legislation about a raft, routinely. “

Hundreds of miles to the nearest abortion clinic

If countries were allowed to ban abortion, the driving distances that their residents would face to access the next nearest clinic would increase exponentially.

If all 26 stated that Guttmacher was looking at a ban on abortion, for women in Louisiana seeking an abortion, the average distance to the nearest clinic would increase by 1720%.

In this scenario, the next closest clinic would be for nearly three out of five women in Louisiana Illinois. For other women in the state, Kansas or North Carolina would probably offer the nearest clinics.

Women in Oklahoma, another state with a trigger law, would rely on Kansas for their nearest clinic, according to Guttmacher’s analysis, which says the average driving distance to the nearest clinic would increase from 18 miles to 281 miles.

For women in Idaho, where there is a six-week ban on abortion that would become enforceable according to court decisions, according to Guttmacher’s scenario, the driving distance to their nearest clinic would increase from 21 miles to 250 miles.

How would it affect access to abortion in the blue states if the red states were allowed to impose bans

Countries that have taken proactive measures to protect abortion rights would not be spared the impact of a flood of abortion bans. In a scenario where 26 states banned abortion, more than a dozen would likely notice a significant increase in the number of patients outside the country just because their clinics would be the closest clinics for women in countries where abortion is banned, according to Guttmacher.

Illinois is a particularly critical “destination” for patients in neighboring states where abortion could be banned after the Roe reversal.

For nearly 9 million women – including women in neighboring states like Indiana and Missouri, as well as women as far as Louisiana and Alabama – their next closest clinic would be Illinois, according to Guttmacher. The percentage of women who would have to drive to the country to get to the nearest clinic would increase by 8,651 percent.

Illinois has taken steps to expand the abortion, passed legal protection for the procedure, and made it eligible for Medicaid enrollment, Nash said.

North Carolina will also become the center of abortion patients outside the state if Roe is declared. For 1 million in Tennessee, 370,000 women in Kentucky, 230,000 women in Louisiana, and 200,000 in Mississippi – all states with trigger laws – North Carolina would be the next closest state in the hypothetical Guttmacher analyzed.


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