The Huffington Post published a report today detailing the decline of abortion access since 2010. States where lawmakers have enacted large cuts to family planning funding and laws regulating abortion clinics, such as Texas and Arizona, have seen the highest number of clinic closings.
When clinics close, women face tangible consequences. Women living in rural areas, for example, must travel long distances to obtain family planning or abortion services. Adding to that burden, 26 states require that women wait at least 24 hours after a consultation to have an abortion procedure, which means they may have tostay in the area overnight or travel there a second time. Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) laws have also resulted in widespread clinic losses; the provisions often force clinics to fulfill unnecessary requirements, such as making their halls a certain width, or face being closed by the state. In reality, abortion clinics are already heavily regulated and safe.
“These restrictions have an uneven impact,” state issues manager at the Guttmacher Institute, Elizabeth Nash, said in a statement. “Women who have resources, have a car, have some money in the bank, can access childcare and take time off work can obtain an abortion, and women who are less well-off and don’t have those kinds of resources are not able to access abortion services.”
Media Resources: The Huffington Post, 8/26/2013; The Daily Beast, 1/22/2013; Feminist Majority Foundation, 8/21/2013