One in 10 abortions performed on people who had to travel out of state, the report finds – The Hill

One in 10 abortions performed on people who had to travel out of state, the report finds – The Hill

The story at a glance


  • New data from the Guttmacher Institute shows that almost one in 10 people seeking an abortion in 2020 traveled out of their home state.

  • Reporters found that the proportion of abortion seekers traveling out of state has steadily increased.

  • In 2011, 6 percent of people who sought abortion care traveled out of their home country.

Even before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, thousands of people traveled across state lines to access abortion care.

In 2020, nearly one in 10 people seeking an abortion traveled outside their home state for the service, according to a new report from the Guttmacher Institute, one of the nation’s leading nongovernmental institutions that studies reproductive rights.

Study makers found that 81,120 of the 930,160 abortions — or 9 percent — that took place in 2020 were performed by people who traveled outside their state of residence.


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That number is 3 percentage points higher than what researchers estimated for 2011, and experts believe more people will seek abortion care outside their home state now that the federal right to the procedure has been lifted.

The same report found that the sharpest increase in abortion seekers traveling out of state for services occurred in states hostile to abortion.

In the 29 states labeled by Guttmacher as “hostile to abortion rights,” residents traveling out of state to seek care increased from 9 percent in 2011 to 15 percent in 2020.

Meanwhile, in more “middle ground” states, the number of people traveling across state lines for abortion care increased slightly less, from 6 percent to 9 percent between the same years.

That increase was even smaller in states that generally support abortion rights, where the number of residents who traveled out of state for care rose by just one percentage point, from 2 percent in 2011 to 3 percent in 2020, the report found. .

Crafters believes that the increase in abortion seekers having to leave their home states to access care will continue to increase now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned and more steps have been taken at the state level to ban abortions.

Early research has found that tighter abortion restrictions, like Texas’s ban, force people to travel out of state for care. But more extensive data after 2020 is needed to officially determine this, the report says.

Last year, Texas lawmakers passed a bill banning abortion after 6 weeks. After its implementation, 1,400 people were forced to travel out of state to obtain abortions, the institute said.

In the 26 states the Guttmacher Institute determined were likely or certain to outlaw abortion after Roe was overturned, 15 percent of residents would have to travel out of state to get care in 2020.

And of that 15 percent, 46 percent traveled to states that have now banned or restricted abortion care or will do so in the foreseeable future, according to the report.


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Published on July 21, 2022

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