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Females seeking abortion traveled longer distances following Supreme Court ruling

Maternal Health
Posted at 9:17 AM, Nov 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-02 11:27:17-04

The average time spent traveling to seek an abortion nearly quadrupled following the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

According to data released Tuesday in JAMA by the University of California at San Francisco researchers, those seeking an abortion following the decision made in Dobbs v. Jackson traveled on average 100 minutes. JAMA’s data found those seeking abortion traveled, on average, 27 minutes in 2021.

The data shifted slightly when comparing the median versus averages. The median time it took someone to seek an abortion increased from 10.9 minutes in 2021 to 17 minutes following the ruling.

The data found that number of women of reproductive age who live more than an hour from a facility that offers abortions doubled following the Supreme Court decision.

The data showed that those in the southern U.S., particularly in Louisiana and Texas, saw the most significant increases in travel time.

“Large disparities and changes in abortion facility access varied by geography. In the pre-Dobbs period, females in states that would later implement a total or 6-week abortion ban already had lower abortion facility access compared with states that did not subsequently ban abortion,” wrote the study’s authors. “In the post-Dobbs period, females in states with these bans experienced the greatest loss of facility access.”

According to data released last month by the Guttmacher Institute, 14 states no longer have any abortion providers. While some states only had a handful of providers before the Supreme Court Decision, Texas had 23 abortion providers, the Guttmacher Institute said.