Abortion bans have cut access to treatment for around 22 million women in U.S : Shots
A recovery room sits empty at Alamo Women's Reproductive Services, in San Antonio, Texas. The clinic closed its doors following the overturn of Roe v. Wade. Callaghan
O'hare/Reuters hide caption toggle caption Callaghan O'hare/Reuters A recovery room sits empty at Alamo Women's Reproductive Services, in San Antonio, Texas. The clinic closed its
doors following the overturn of Roe v. Wade. Callaghan O'hare/Reuters In the 100 days since the Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade, 66 clinics in the U.S. stopped providing
abortion. That's according to a new analysis published Thursday by the Guttmacher Institute, assessing abortion access in the 15 states that have banned or severely restricted
access to abortion. "Prior to Roe being overturned, these 15 states had 79 clinics that provided abortion care," says Rachel Jones, a principal research scientist at Guttmacher.
"We found that 100 days later, this was down to 13." All of the 13 clinics still providing abortions are in Georgia, where abortion is banned at six weeks before many women know
they are pregnant. Dr. Nisha Verma, an OB-GYN who practices in Georgia, said she has had to turn many patients away in recent months. "I have had teenagers with chronic medical
conditions that make their pregnancy very high risk and women with highly desired pregnancies who receive a terrible diagnosis of a fetal anomaly cry when they learn that they
can't receive their abortion in our state and beg me to help them," she told President Biden and members of the White House Task Force on Reproductive Healthcare Access this week.
"Imagine looking someone in the eye and saying, 'I have all the skills and the tools to help you, but our state's politicians have told me I can't,' " she added. Nearly 22 million
– or 29% – of women of reproductive age live in a state where abortion is banned or limited to six weeks gestational age, according to the report. While 40 of the clinics in
these states are still open for other services, the Guttmacher analysis found 26 clinics had completely closed down, which means they might never reopen. "These clinics don't have
staff anymore, they probably moved their medical supplies to other facilities," Jones explains. "So it's not like they could open their doors tomorrow if these bans were lifted."
The report also notes that the halting of abortion services at these clinics has a ripple effect through the health care system. As patients travel to the states where abortion is
still legal for these services, clinics in those states are experiencing larger patient loads and patients face longer wait times. Having to travel out of state can also complicate