At least 43 abortion clinics have shut their doors in the 30 days since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, according to new research.
The research was published Thursday by the Guttmacher Institute, a research and policy organization focused on sexual and reproductive health that supports abortion rights.
The closures are concentrated in the South and Midwest, regions that have banned or significantly restricted access to abortion. Guttmacher predicts that the state of abortion access, already “dire,” will get even worse as more states ban abortion in the coming weeks and months.
“We knew that bad things were going to come off the decision when it came out on Friday, the 24th, and unfortunately, we’re not particularly surprised,” said Rachel K. Jones, a principal research scientist with Guttmacher who worked on the report.
There was one element of the closures that was a surprise, said Elizabeth Nash, a state policy analyst with the organization who worked on the report.
“Even before Dobbs fell, we knew this would happen, but I think the speed of the closings is a little bit surprising to everybody,” Nash said. “It’s happening lightning quick.”
The landscape for abortion access has changed dramatically since the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health late last month. The opinion ended a U.S. constitutional right to an abortion, giving states the green light to implement bans or extreme limits on the procedure.
Since then, several states have sought to enforce abortion restrictions that were previously on the books but blocked by federal court orders or that were designed to go into effect if the Supreme Court reversed its abortion rights precedent.
Abortion providers have had some success getting those bans blocked in state court in a handful of places, but in at least 11 states, laws restricting abortion at about six weeks into pregnancy or banning it outright have been allowed to go into effect.
As of July 24, according to Guttmacher, seven states have been able to enact complete bans on abortion: Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Texas. Four states have implemented restrictions on abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy: Georgia, Ohio, South Carolina and Tennessee.
Prior to the bans, these 11 states had 71 clinics. Now there are only 28 left.
Researchers believe that it will be difficult for people to get access to the procedure even in the states with six-week bans, since there will potentially be long wait times for appointments. At six weeks, experts say, most people don’t even know they are pregnant.
The above comes from a late July story on KCRA.