Abortion service delivery in clinics by state policy climate in 2017

Elizabeth Witwer, Guttmacher Institute Rachel K. Jones, Guttmacher Institute Liza Fuentes, Boston Medical Center Kate Castle

First published on Contraception: X:

| DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.conx.2020.100043
Abstract / Summary

The objective was to examine service delivery in clinics that provided abortions in 2017, including differences by abortion policy climate.

Study design
Using data from the Guttmacher Institute's 2017 Abortion Provider Census, we examine amount charged for abortion care, pregnancy gestation at which abortions were offered, number of days per week that clinics provided abortions and types of nonabortion services offered. Our analysis focuses on the 808 clinic facilities that provided 95% of abortions that year. Measures were calculated nationally and according to whether the clinic was in a state we categorized as hostile, middle ground or supportive of abortion rights.

In 2017, 64% of clinics offered abortion at 11 weeks pregnancy gestation, and 22% did so at 20 weeks gestation. Supportive states had a higher density of clinics that provide abortion for every measured gestation than hostile states. Clinics charged an average of $549 for a surgical abortion at 10 weeks and $551 for medication abortion. Some 46% of clinics in supportive states offered abortion care 5 or more days per week compared to 29% in hostile states. Most clinics offered standalone contraception and family planning (87%) and gynecological care (85%), but the proportion of clinics that provided these services was higher in supportive states (93% and 90%) than in hostile states (75% and 73%).

A substantial proportion of abortion facilities provide a range of other health care services. Aspects of service delivery, such as number of days abortions are provided, may vary according to abortion policy climate.

Implications statement
Onerous policies in states hostile to abortion rights may inhibit some facilities from providing abortion more days per week, and if so, could further burden patients obtaining abortion care in these states.


United States