Characteristics of abortion patients in protected and restricted states accessing clinic-based care 12 months prior to the elimination of the federal constitutional right to abortion in the United States

Rachel K. Jones, Guttmacher Institute Doris W. Chiu, Guttmacher Institute

First published on Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health (University of Ottawa):

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Abstract / Summary


As a result of the June 2022 decision of the United States (US) Supreme Court, as many as 24 states have, or are expected to, ban or severely restrict abortion. We provide baseline information about abortion patients living in different state environments prior to this decision.


We obtained surveys from 6674 women, transgender men, and other pregnancy capable individuals accessing abortion care at 56 facilities across the US between June 2021 and July 2022. The final analytic sample uses information from 5930 abortion patients to compare the demographic and situational profiles of those living in the 24 states likely to ban abortion (restricted) to those living in states where it is likely to remain legal (protected).


Compared to respondents who lived in protected states, abortion patients in restricted states were more likely to be Black (39% vs. 30%) or white (35% vs. 28%) and less likely to be Latinx (18% vs. 32%). Respondents in restricted states were more likely to be paying out-of-pocket for care (87% vs. 42%), be relying on financial assistance (22% vs. 11%), and indicate that it was difficult to pay for the abortion (54% vs. 28%). Twelve percent of respondents who lived in a restricted state crossed state lines for care and the majority (59%) was going to another restricted state.


Prior to June 2022, abortion patients in restricted states encountered more situational and financial barriers compared to those in protected states. These barriers have undoubtedly been exacerbated by abortion bans.


United States