Big increases in states that border ban states
| Heard on Morning Edition – People seeking an abortion are “highly motivated” to travel if they can’t get abortions where they live.
That’s one conclusion from a study from the Guttmacher Institute, a research and policy group that supports [abortion] rights.
Another striking finding: In Illinois, there were 18,300 more abortions in the first half of this year compared to 2020.
“If you’re interested in where people are going, then I think the numbers tell a big part of that story because it represents a lot of people traveling,” says Isaac Maddow-Zimet, a data scientist at the Guttmacher Institute.
“In New Mexico, there was a whopping 220% jump in the number of abortions.”
“The percentage increase, I think, is also important because it does speak to the potential strain this puts on providers capacity to provide care,” he says.
Both New Mexico and Illinois have enacted laws to protect access to abortion. Their geography is another key factor. “What we’re seeing is really big increases in states that border ban states,” Maddow-Zimet says.
There were also small increases in states bordering ban states that have not positioned themselves as havens for access, including in Montana and Wyoming, which border the Dakotas. Ohio, which has its own ban on hold, also saw a slight increase. It borders Kentucky and West Virginia, which have no abortion access.
States with abortion bans do allow an extremely small number of abortions, if they meet certain exceptions.
This year in Texas, for instance, there have been four abortions on average each month — in 2020, that number was about 4,800 per month …