Roe v. Wade Fallout: Women May Have To Travel Farther for Abortion Care

Tens of millions of American women will have to journey much farther for abortion care if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade as expected, researchers say.

Dozens of states would make abortion illegal in the wake of such a ruling, which would force about 24 million women to travel at least 150 miles more than they do now to obtain abortion care.

“There are already huge disparities for who has access to abortion care. If Roe gets overturned and state legislation becomes law, it will widen the disparities even more,” said lead author Brenna Kelly, a graduate student at the University of Utah.

“For many people who have good access now, it’s going to get worse. And the people who already struggle to get care, it’s going to be near impossible,” Kelly said in a university news release.

The median distance to find care would triple from nearly 40 miles today to 113.5 miles, according to the analysis of 739 abortion clinics in the 3,108 counties in the contiguous United States.

But large areas would see a 100-fold increase in distance to abortion care, particularly in the Deep South, Midwest and Intermountain West.

Such “abortion care deserts” would disproportionately affect Black and Hispanic women, those living in poverty and those with less education, according to findings recently published in the Utah Women’s Health Review.

A draft U.S. Supreme Court opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito that would strike down Roe v. Wade was leaked to the press earlier this month. While it’s not the final decision, it does show that a majority of justices took an initial vote to do away with the decades-old ruling that provides federal protection for women seeking an abortion.

Researchers warned that restricting abortion care is associated with poor health outcomes for mothers and infants, and overturning Roe v. Wade would make those disparities much worse.

Both rural and urban areas would see dramatic increases in distances to abortion clinics. Of the 46 counties that will see an increase of more than 400 miles, 89% are also urban, according to the new study.

But women in urban counties where abortion is banned will have the greatest relative increase in distance. For example, a woman in Miami-Dade County, Florida, is now less than a mile from care. That would increase by 426 miles if the state bans abortion.

“The entire South is going to be a desert for care. The most dramatic change will be for people who live somewhere that doesn’t border [a] state where it’s legal,” Kelly said.

She noted that a similar situation exists in the Intermountain West.

“People in Wyoming and parts of Nevada and Idaho come to Salt Lake City for care,” Kelly said. “Post-Roe, the nearest place will be Colorado. People in Salt Lake who right now might be minutes from care are going to be hundreds of miles from it.”

Already, laws governing abortion vary widely by state.

Another study published earlier this month, based on surveys of more than 1,000 pregnant women, found that 9 out of 10 already had at least one distance-related barrier to obtaining an abortion, even if they lived in a community with a clinic.

The study also found that women who need an abortion are more than twice as likely to delay the procedure or decide to continue their pregnancy if they live 50 or more miles from a clinic, compared with women who live within 5 miles of a clinic.

Twenty-one states have legislation that would ban or restrict abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned, and five others would likely pass similar laws in the absence of federal abortion protection.

“Abortion is a very polarizing issue, but we should all consider and prepare for the disparities that would result from these large-scale changes, regardless of what position we have,” Kelly said.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more on abortion.

SOURCE: University of Utah, news release, May 11, 2022

What do you think?


Leave a Reply
  1. whoah this blog is wonderful i really like reading your articles. Keep up the great paintings! You realize, a lot of people are hunting round for this info, you could help them greatly.

  2. whoah this blog is wonderful i really like reading your articles. Keep up the great paintings! You realize, a lot of people are hunting round for this info, you could help them greatly.

  3. You really make it seem really easy with your presentation however I to find this topic to be actually something that I think I’d never understand. It kind of feels too complex and extremely wide for me. I am taking a look forward to your subsequent submit, I?¦ll try to get the hang of it!

  4. Have you ever considered publishing an ebook or guest authoring on other sites? I have a blog based upon on the same information you discuss and would love to have you share some stories/information. I know my visitors would value your work. If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an email.

  5. whoah this blog is wonderful i really like reading your articles. Keep up the great paintings! You realize, a lot of people are hunting round for this info, you could help them greatly.

  6. I would like to thnkx for the efforts you have put in writing this blog. I am hoping the same high-grade blog post from you in the upcoming as well. In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own blog now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings quickly. Your write up is a good example of it.

  7. My partner and I absolutely love your blog and find almost all of your post’s to be precisely what I’m looking for. Would you offer guest writers to write content in your case? I wouldn’t mind composing a post or elaborating on a few of the subjects you write in relation to here. Again, awesome web site!

  8. What i don’t understood is if truth be told how you are now not actually a lot more neatly-favored than you may be now. You are very intelligent. You know therefore significantly when it comes to this matter, made me personally imagine it from so many numerous angles. Its like women and men are not involved unless it is one thing to accomplish with Girl gaga! Your personal stuffs outstanding. All the time care for it up!

  9. I’ve been exploring for a little bit for any high quality articles or blog posts on this kind of area . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this site. Reading this info So i’m happy to convey that I have an incredibly good uncanny feeling I discovered exactly what I needed. I most certainly will make certain to don’t forget this website and give it a glance on a constant basis.

  10. I as well as my guys have already been checking the great pointers from your web page and then at once I got a horrible feeling I never thanked you for those strategies. The men came so stimulated to read through all of them and have now extremely been making the most of these things. Many thanks for simply being so helpful and also for utilizing these kinds of tremendous issues millions of individuals are really needing to be informed on. My personal sincere regret for not saying thanks to earlier.

  11. My coder is trying to convince me to move to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the expenses. But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using Movable-type on several websites for about a year and am nervous about switching to another platform. I have heard great things about Is there a way I can transfer all my wordpress content into it? Any help would be really appreciated!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Nurses Key To Spotting New Moms Showing Postpartum Depression Signs

Scientists Are Developing Drug Overdose Alert Patch