The Amazing Absent Abortion Clinic

Itís astounding how few abortion clinics there are in the United States, a country where abortion is legal.

Per 2014 data, 90 percent of counties in the United States don’t have an abortion clinic, which means 39 percent of women ages 15 to 44 are living in a county without a clinic.

State by state, the situation is even more dire. Nineteen states have abortion clinics in 5 percent or fewer of their counties. In Wyoming, 96 percent of women live in a county without an abortion clinic. In Missouri, itís 94 percent. This interactive map will help you envision what that means in terms of drive times.

Without meaningful access, the Roe v. Wade decision is just a piece of paper.

Travel means money. It means buying gas. It means you have to have a vehicle or pay for some sort of public transport. It means you have to take more time off work, especially if you live in a state that requires multiple visits before you can get an abortion. And if the clinic is far enough away, it may mean a hotel. Not everyone has the money for all of that.

Itís no wonder that a study found when the distance to an abortion clinic is increased even slightly, the effects on people seeking an abortion are substantial. Another study found in Texas, the birth rate rose in counties where closures meant the closest abortion clinic was 50 miles or farther away.

The lack of access and its negative impact is no coincidence. Anti-choice activists and legislators know bringing down Roe will be tough, so they continue to use end-run laws and regulations to force clinics to close and to make it harder for people to access the few clinics that remain.

Anti-choice federal and state funding policy doesnít help either. The Trump administration’s changes to Title X, if implemented, would mean clinics that perform abortions or refer to providers that do wouldnít be eligible for Title X funding. The Hyde Amendment prohibits abortions ó a legally protected reproductive right ó from being covered by federal funding.

And thanks to a new Health and Human Services rule, health care professionals are more empowered to refuse to provide abortions, even in facilities that have the capability to offer them.

When safe abortion is not available, abortion rates donít fall. People just turn to unsafe abortion.

Anti-choice activists like to call themselves pro-life. Itís a label belied by†a lack of respect for the rights and health of adults who wish to have abortions. In the end, it doesnít matter whether anti-choice advocates find a way to overturn Roe or they simply continue to undercut abortion clinicsí ability to stay open. Either way, tens of millions of people wonít have access to safe abortion. Many of them will have complications. And some of them will die.

Image credit: BraunS/Getty Images

47 comments

tammy C
tammy Cyesterday

need to stand and be heard as woman

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Karen H
Karen H2 days ago

States that preach (and teach) abstinence only sex education are responsible for surprise pregnancies. Without comprehensive sex education, teens believe some of the weirdest things.
Claim - Douching with Coke prevents pregnancy.
Wrong - Douching with any liquid doesn't work. By the time the douche is fired off, hundreds of thousands of sperm are already in the uterus, and the sugar in the Coke can cause a nasty yeast infection.
Claim - You can't get pregnant if you have sex standing up.
Wrong - Sperm can swim uphill.
Claim - You can't get pregnant the first time you have sex.
Wrong - There's risk of pregnancy any time a woman has sex - even on birth control.
Claim - Plastic wrap and a rubber band can substitute for a condom. Other alternatives - an ice pop wrapper, latex or rubber glove, sandwich bag, plastic shower cap, balloon.
Wrong - There is no substitute for a condom. (Although you can make balloons out of condoms.)
Claim - You can't get pregnant if you don't have an orgasm.
Wrong - If that was the case, there would a lot fewer pregnancies!
Claim - You can't get pregnant when you have your period.
Wrong - A woman can ovulate before, during or after her period - or not at all.
Claim - You can't get pregnant if you do jumping jacks after sex.
Wrong - Nice exercise, but the spermies are already in the uterus.
Claim - "Pulling out" before ejaculation prevents pregnancy.
Wrong - There's something called "pre-ejaculate" (also called p

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Lesa D
Lesa D4 days ago

thank you Alice...

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Dr. Jan H
Dr. Jan Hill4 days ago

thanks

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Sherry K
Sherry Kohn5 days ago

Noted

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Danuta W
Danuta W5 days ago

Thank you for sharing

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Anne Moran
Anne M5 days ago

Freya H - We don’t have abortion clinics in Canada,, as all abortions are done in hospitals,, General Hospitals.. - By trying to insult me by insinuation,, you only make yourself look stupid...

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Shirley S
Shirley S5 days ago

A dangerous state of affairs. These clinics are essential.

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Debbi W
Debbi W5 days ago

The right to lifers are liars. They don't give a fig about your life or the fetuses yet to be born. They just want control people's lives. They are hateful and lack the least bit of humanity we usually think most people have. If those right to lifers really cared, they would adopt off the the babies and children in orphanages and in foster homes.

Our planet is already over populated. Now there will more babies born who are not wanted or can be cared for, and women will be dying from botched abortions. Those deaths will be on the right to lifers head. Thank goodness that there are governors who support Roe v Wade. Maine is one, so are Oregon and California. The bible belt will be the main area with no abortion facilities.

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Peggy B
Peggy B5 days ago

TYFS

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