Abortion Entry Varies Extensively Throughout U.S.

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By Mary Elizabeth Dallas

HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Oct. three, 2017 (HealthDay Information) — Ladies’s entry to an abortion clinic varies extensively throughout the USA, with 1 in 5 touring greater than 43 miles to achieve a clinic, a brand new examine reveals.

American ladies are, on common, 11 miles from an abortion clinic. However New Yorkers are inside three.2 miles of a clinic, whereas Wyoming residents should journey almost 170 miles to entry these companies, in keeping with researchers from the Guttmacher Institute in New York Metropolis.

“How far a girl has to journey for an abortion is a key measure of entry, alongside stigma, restrictive legal guidelines and monetary constraints,” mentioned examine creator Jonathan Bearak.

“Our findings illustrate the huge variations in entry to abortion mapped throughout the U.S., with ladies in distant, rural areas dealing with the longest journeys for an abortion,” Bearak added.

The examine outcomes had been revealed Oct. three in The Lancet Public Well being.

Legal guidelines in 14 states require that girls have in-person counseling adopted by an 18- to 72-hour ready interval earlier than an abortion, the researchers famous. This will pose a considerable barrier “as ladies in these areas can also must journey to and from the clinic twice,” Bearak mentioned in a journal information launch.

For the examine, researchers mapped the inhabitants of girls of childbearing age after which checked out publicly accessible abortion clinics. They calculated how far the ladies must journey in every state and county.

The researchers discovered that on common in 2014:

  • Ladies in 23 states had been inside 15 miles of a clinic. In 16 states, the typical distance was inside 29 miles, whereas ladies in eight states averaged 30 to 89 miles away from an abortion clinic.
  • Some ladies in three states are greater than 90 miles away from an abortion clinic. In distant areas of South Dakota, an abortion clinic could possibly be greater than 330 miles away.
  • Between 2011 and 2014, the typical distance to an abortion clinic elevated by a minimum of 30 miles for ladies dwelling in distant counties in Texas, Iowa, Montana and Missouri. All of those states, aside from Iowa, tightened legal guidelines limiting entry to abortion, in keeping with the examine.
  • On the flip facet, the typical distance to an abortion clinic for ladies in Kansas and Maine was considerably lowered.


Practically half of pregnancies in the USA are unintended, and 42 % of those finish in an abortion, the authors famous.

“This examine tells solely a part of the story. For ladies looking for particular kinds of suppliers, resembling those that settle for Medicaid, do abortions at later gestations, or are hospital-based, the space is perhaps even longer,” mentioned Ushma Upadhyay, an affiliate professor on the College of California, San Francisco, in a commentary linked to the examine.

“As a result of supplier availability decreases with every week of gestation, even per week’s delay can scale back the variety of suppliers considerably,” Upadhyay wrote.

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