The top row
State abortion bans enacted after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade have so far forced at least 66 clinics in 15 states to stop the procedure, according to new data from the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, affecting millions of women in the US. and leaving nearly every state where abortion is largely outlawed without any place to offer the procedure.
As of Oct. 2—100 days after the Supreme Court overturned Roe—40 clinics had stopped providing abortions but still offered other services, and 26 had closed entirely, according to the Guttmacher Institute analysis, out of a total of 43 clinics that had stopped to provide abortions from July 24.
The analysis found that 22 million women of reproductive age (ages 15-49) live in the 15 states affected by the shutdown, based on 2020 Census data, making up 29% of all US women in that age group .
Of the 15 states that faced shutdowns, only Georgia — which bans abortion at six weeks into pregnancy — still has providers who perform abortions, which could be necessary since most states that have banned abortions still offer limited exceptions and courts could strike down some of the prohibitions.
Louisiana and Mississippi no longer have any clinics open at all, including those providing reproductive health care services other than abortion, while other states have at least one clinic still operating for non-abortion reproductive care.
The state with the most clinic closings is Texas, where 12 clinics closed entirely after the Supreme Court ruling and 11 remain open for other services.
The 14 states without abortion clinics are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
The analysis did not include states where abortion bans have been temporarily blocked in state courts, some of which have also closed clinics. In North Dakota, for example, the state’s abortion ban was blocked after the only remaining clinic had already closed and moved to Minnesota.
125,780. That’s how many abortions were performed in 2020 in the 14 states that no longer have abortion services, according to data compiled by the Guttmacher Institute. Georgia, where abortions are banned after six weeks but 13 clinics still perform the procedure before that point, recorded 41,620 abortions in 2020.
Wisconsin is one of 14 states without abortion providers, even though the legality of the pre-Roe abortion ban, which was enacted in 1849, is still disputed. Democratic state Attorney General Josh Kaul said the state would not enforce the law and sued to block it in court, but abortion clinics stopped performing the procedure anyway given the uncertainty. Gov. Tony Evers (D) called a special session for the Legislature to pass a referendum on the state’s abortion ban to go to voters, but the Republican-controlled Senate met Tuesday for just 15 seconds before adjourning without examine the matter.
What to watch out for
Additional clinics could close or stop providing abortions as more states outlaw the procedure. The near-total abortion bans now blocked in court in six states—Indiana, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, Utah and Wyoming—could still be reinstated, and additional states could move to ban the procedure through new legislation. Elisabeth Smith, director of state policy at the Center for Reproductive Rights, predicted that Forbes last week that more state legislatures that have not been in session since the Supreme Court rulings will pass new abortion bans when they reconvene in 2023, including states whose existing bans have been blocked in court. “The status quo of 13 states with total gangs is going to increase,” Smith said. The Guttmacher Institute predicts that 26 states are ultimately certain or likely to ban abortion, though it remains to be seen how many of those bans will be upheld in state court.
The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24 in a case involving Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban, immediately sparking a wave of state bans across the country as the court struck down the federal right to abortion and let states outlaw the process. The bans criminalize nearly all abortions and make them a felony, leaving many doctors reluctant or hesitant to perform the procedure even in medical emergencies that might be allowed under state law (no state bans have so far imposed criminal penalties penalties for the person to have the abortion). The proliferation of state bans and subsequent clinic closings has sent pregnant women to abortion-ban states, crowding abortion clinics in places where abortion remains legal. Clinics in Illinois reported in August that they had wait times of three weeks and 86% of patients came from out of state, and several Democratic-led states have implemented policies designed to protect abortion rights and protect providers from legal consequences if they perform abortions on foreign patients.
100 Days Since Overturning Roe V. Wade: The 11 Biggest Consequences (Forbes)
Indiana’s Abortion Ban Blocked in Court – Here’s Where the State’s Lawsuits Stand Now (Forbes)