Even before last month’s Supreme Court ruling quashing Roe vs. Wadean increasing number of people were crossing state lines to get abortions.
Nearly one in 10 abortions in 2020 were performed on patients who had crossed state lines, according to a report released Thursday by the Guttmacher Institute. That’s up from 6% in 2011. As the report notes, the increase occurred as a growing number of states passed abortion restrictions.
Interstate travel for abortion is expected to continue to increase as more states enact abortion bans in response to the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision rendered on June 24.
“This is a baseline for the changes we expect to see and are already seeing, as a lot more restrictions are happening as a result of Dobbs“said Isaac Maddow-Zimet, co-author of the report for Guttmacher, a research group that supports abortion rights.
Maddow-Zimet notes that the report examines data from both before Dobbs and before the implementation of SB 8, an abortion ban that went into effect in Texas in September 2021.
Already, clinics in states like Colorado and Illinois, which have less restrictive laws, have reported an influx of patients from neighboring states.
The report examined not only where abortions were provided, but also where the patients were of.
He found that abortion restrictions did not necessarily translate into fewer abortions. In Missouri, for example, the number of abortions performed there dropped significantly between 2017 and 2020. During the same period, the abortion rate for residents increased by 18% when abortions outside of the state were taken into account.
“We’re going to see more and more situations like this, as more states put in place bans, where most residents will have to travel out of state for treatment,” Maddow said. -Zimet.
Guttmacher reviewed data from sources including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state health departments and her own survey of abortion providers. The report did not take into account induced abortions, which many experts believe will become increasingly common, especially for people living in states with abortion bans.