What’s usually seen as a social issue has been a top political issue for the November midterms, the first election cycle after the Supreme Court overturned of Roe v. Wade. Abortion has generally been a top five concern for voters in polls leading up to the election. A new study from abortion advocacy group Guttmacher Institute is giving insight on how laws have changed since the ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
There have been 13 states that have outlawed abortion with zero clinics providing abortion procedures in their states. Those states include Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia. Those states have zero clinics still offering abortions, but more than 60% of those clinics still offer other non-abortion services to women.
Two other states, Georgia and Wisconsin, have clinics that have implemented other restrictions. In Wisconsin, they had four clinics to offer abortion before Roe was overturned. Now, those clinics are no longer offering the procedure as the state’s pre-Roe abortion ban is still met with uncertainty. Providers in that state have stopped offering abortions out of fear of future prosecution, according to the study.
In Georgia, since the Dobbs decision, the state has enforced a ban on abortion starting at six weeks of pregnancy. Clinics there have been affected by the shortened timeframe to offer abortion services but only one clinic has closed, and 13 are still operational, according to the study.
Within those 15 states, the fact that 66 clinics are now no longer offering abortions is seen as a drastic change. However, on a larger scale, nationally more than 800 abortion clinics were operational in 2020 and the vast majority of those have been untouched since Roe was overturned. With abortion no longer under federal protection, access to the procedure is something for each state to decide.