Report: Rate Of Out-Of-State Abortions Have Doubled, Due To Roe V. Wade Reversal
Illinois has seen the highest number of out-of-state patients who live in bordering states with strict bans.
Since the Supreme Court reversed the Roe v. Wade ruling in 2022, the number of persons traveling out of state for abortions has doubled, News Nation reports. The Guttmacher Institute found that close to 1 in 5 abortion patients traveled out of state during Q1 and Q2 of 2023, in comparison to 1 in 10 during the same time in 2020. States that saw the largest increases in out-of-state patients include Illinois, New Mexico, Colorado, Florida, and Ohio, some of which have passed stricter abortion laws or have had them banned.
Some states have made exceptions, such as when the mother’s well-being is in jeopardy; for victims of rape, activists continue to advocate to clear up the loopholes that patients face when hospitals are apprehensive about moving forward with the procedure. Colorado and New Mexico allow abortions with no restrictions based on gestational age. Ohio requires counseling before a person is allowed to abort, up to 22 weeks.
According to ABC News, Illinois has seen the largest increase in patients traveling from other states. The state allows abortion up to the point of fetal viability, normally seen around 23 weeks of pregnancy. It is surrounded by Indiana, Kentucky, and Missouri, where abortion is banned.
“Illinois is bordered by three states that ban abortion as well as the restrictive states of Iowa and Wisconsin — in 2020, 21% of the abortions that occurred in Illinois were to people coming from out of state; this increased to 42% in the first six months of 2023,” said Rachel Jones, principal research scientist at Guttmacher.
The data also showed the impact of bans going into effect, such as in South Carolina. Within its formal healthcare system, the number of abortions decreased 79% — from 750 in August 2023 down to 160 — just one month after the state enforced a ban after six weeks gestation.
Abortion has been a major topic of conversation in the 2024 presidential campaigns. Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, both Republicans, have signaled that they are open to compromise on the issue. In contrast, other Republican leaders continue to push for a ban on a national level.