“We got nearly 100 calls the day after the Dobbs decision from patients in Alabama,” said Kwajelyn Jackson, executive director of the Feminist Women’s Health Center in Atlanta. In states where abortion remains at least partially legal the phones haven’t stopped ringing.
Since June, thousands of Americans have crossed state lines seeking abortion, like a pressure wave spreading out from a blast zone. A data set shared exclusively with FiveThirtyEight shows that in the two months after the Supreme Court decision, there were 10,670 fewer abortions as compared to pre-Dobbs estimates. That figure is a net, counting both declines in some states and increases in others, and it shows how a few states are absorbing some — but not all — of the demand for abortions in states where it’s now banned.
The results suggest that in July and August, there were more than 10,000 people who “felt they had no options,” said Ushma Upadhyay, a professor and public health social scientist at the University of California, San Francisco. Along with Dr. Alison Norris, a professor of epidemiology at the Ohio State University, she co-chairs #WeCount, a national research project led by the Society of Family Planning, a nonprofit that supports research on abortion and contraception. “They couldn’t travel, and they had to figure out what else to do,” Upadhyay said.
Data compiled by #WeCount is designed to capture state-level information on abortion access in the wake of the Dobbs decision. This first data release compares the number of legal abortions — including surgical and medication abortions — in each month from April to August 2022, showing how the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision in June has reshaped the abortion landscape.
That topline number conceals an enormous amount of fluctuation between states. In all states that saw declines in their abortion numbers — which include the 15 states in which abortion was banned or severely limited over the summer — the number of abortions fell by about 22,000. Some of those women appear to have traveled out of state, because in other states, the number of abortions rose by an aggregate of about 12,000….
The above comes from an Oct. 30 story on fivethirtyeight.com.