At least 43 abortion clinics shut in the month after Supreme Court overturned Roe

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At least 43 abortion clinics shut in the month after Supreme Court overturned Roe, research says, with more likely to close.

In the 30 days since the US Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade in June, at least 43 abortion clinics have closed their doors, according to new research.

The Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion think tank that conducts research and develops policy, released its findings on Thursday.

The majority of the closures have occurred in the South and Midwest, which have either prohibited or drastically restricted abortion access. Guttmacher expects that when more states outlaw abortion in the coming weeks and months, the already “dire” status of abortion availability will get substantially worse.

According to Guttmacher principal research scientist Rachel K. Jones, “we knew that awful things were going to come off the decision when it came out on Friday, the 24th,” and “sadly, we’re not very surprised.”

Elizabeth Nash, a state policy specialist with the organization who worked on the research, said there was one aspect of the closures that surprised her.

When Dobbs collapsed, “we knew this would happen, but the rapidity of the closings is a little bit startling to everyone,” Nash said. “It’s going by like a bullet.”

Access to abortion has undergone a sea change since the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health decision was handed down at the end of last month. The judgment put an end to a constitutional right to an abortion in the United States, allowing states to ban or restrict the operation to the maximum extent possible.

Because of the Supreme Court’s abortion rights decision, a number of states have attempted to impose limits on abortion already in place, but which had been prohibited by federal court rulings.

In a few jurisdictions, abortion providers were able to have these prohibitions overturned by state courts, but in at least 11 states, laws restricting or outright prohibiting abortion beyond six weeks of pregnancy have been permitted to take effect.

Abortion prohibitions were enacted in Alabama; Arkansas; Mississippi; Missouri; Oklahoma; South Dakota; and Texas as of July 24, according to Guttmacher. There are no limits on the number of weeks a woman can be aborted in Georgia, Ohio, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

There were 71 clinics in these 11 states prior to the bans. There are now just 28 people left.

Even in states where the surgery has been banned for six weeks, doctors predict that patients will have long waits for appointments, making it difficult for them to receive it. Pregnant women, according to medical professionals, are often unaware of their condition until they are at least six weeks along.

Before the Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade, getting an abortion was difficult in many states. Because of the June 24 decision, many people may now have to travel significant distances to get an abortion because of state-level bans and restrictions on abortion. This will further exacerbate the discrepancies in access to treatment for many people.”

It could also be a hurdle for those who are already at risk of having a bad birth.

Individuals from low-income families, Black and brown patients, children, and LGBTQ communities will be most hard hit by the bans, according to Nash.

Young lesbian and bisexual women have a higher rate of unintended pregnancies than heterosexual women, according to research. Risk factors for teenage pregnancy include childhood neglect, familial rejection, and bullying. As many as three times as many lesbian and bisexual women report having been sexually attacked as heterosexual women, according to new research.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, black women are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related reasons than white women.

Abortion rates were highest among Black women, followed by Hispanic women, according to the CDC.

Studies reveal that half of all people who seek an abortion in the United States are living below the poverty line.

“White and wealthy people have greater access to the health care system because they have more money and resources available to them. So that women might obtain an abortion outside of the state, “Nash made statement.

As of 2020, the researchers had compiled a list of abortion facilities in the 11 states that have taken swift action to restrict access to the procedure. To find out where clinics were closing, they studied newspaper stories, information from other abortion-access organizations, and posts on social media. As the legal landscape changes, Guttmacher intends to keep a current tally of the closures that have occurred.

There are still many states where the legal status of abortion is in flux, and this creates a hazy scenario for women’s access to the procedure. Although a pre-Roe trigger prohibition in Wisconsin has led to the termination of abortion services, that 1849 statute is currently being challenged in court.

More than 200 abortion facilities might close if all 26 states that Guttmacher expects to outlaw abortion do so, according to Jones.

As Jones pointed out, “this is likely just the beginning of the problem.” In particular for those living in the Midwest and South, “things are just going to get worse.”