Over a month after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade with the case of Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health, around 60 percent of clinics offering abortion in Republican-run states with strict abortion laws have shut down.
The Guttmacher Institute, in a new report, looked at 11 Republican-led states that have implemented near-total or total bans on abortion: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas.
These states had a total of 71 clinics providing abortions prior to the Supreme Court’s June 24 ruling. As of July 24, 28 of these clinics remain, with all being located in states with six-week abortion bans: Georgia, Ohio, South Carolina and Tennessee. In all, 61 percent of abortion clinics in these states have closed.
Seven states have implemented total abortion bans, with some exemptions being made for cases where the mother faces serious harm, and cases of rape or incest.
In these states, all abortion clinics have been closed. Alabama lost its 5 clinics, Arkansas lost 2, Mississippi lost its one, which was at the center of Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health, Missouri lost one, Oklahoma lost 5, South Dakota lost 1, and Texas lost 23.
According to the Institute, theses states accounted for 80,5000 abortions in 2020.
In states with six-week abortion bans, Tennessee lost four clinics, bringing their total to three, Ohio remains unchanged at 9 clinics, South Carolina also remains unchanged with three clinics, and Georgia lost one clinic, bringing their total to 13.
The Institute gathered this information starting on July 5, by generating a list of clinics that were known to have provided abortion care in 2020 in these 11 states. This list was monitored and updated between July 5 and 24 using news stories, social media posts, changes in state laws, as well as information from colleague organizations.
The Institute’s researchers stated that in cases where a state had banned abortion but the website was still live, albeit inactive, they called the clinic. "If a phone line was not answered after two or more calls during business hours, we considered the clinic to be closed."
As states begin to close down their clinics, neighboring states with abortion offerings are reporting being overwhelmed by those traveling to receive the procedure.
According to the New York Times, in New Mexico, wait times to receive an abortion are now at three weeks, with some clinics being so backlogged that they cannot book new appointments.
In a survey conducted by a research team led by Caitlin Myers, a professor of economics at Middlebury College, they discovered overall, the wait time for abortions has only slightly increased in the nation.
In states bordering those with total or near-total abortion bans though, that wait time is increasing by the day.
22 percent of clinics in cities near these states reported booking appointments more than three weeks out. As you get farther from abortion ban states though, that number decreased to just eight percent.
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