In 2013, the majority of women lived in states considered hostile to abortion rights, or states with numerous abortion restrictions. By comparison, 31% lived in supportive states. This study examined differences in abortion service delivery according to the policy climate in which clinics must operate.
Data come from the 2014 Abortion Provider Census, which contains information about all known abortion-providing facilities in the United States. In addition to number and type of facility, we examine several aspects of abortion care: provision of only early medication abortion (EMA-only) whether an advanced practice clinician provided abortions, gestational parameters, and average charge for procedure. All indicators were examined nationally and according to whether the clinic was in a state that was hostile, middle ground, or supportive of abortion rights.
In 2014, hostile and supportive states accounted for the same proportion of all U.S. abortions—44% (each)—although 57% of women age 15 to 44 lived in hostile states. Hostile states had one-half as many abortion-providing facilities as supportive ones. EMA-only facilities accounted for 37% of clinics in supportive states compared with 8% in hostile states. Sixty-five percent of clinics in supportive states reported that advanced practice clinicians provided abortion care, compared with 3% in hostile states. After cost of living adjustments, a first-trimester surgical abortion was most expensive in middle-ground states ($470) and least expensive in supportive states ($402).
The distribution of abortion services, the type of facility in which they are provided, and the amount a facility charges all vary according to the abortion policy climate.